The Catcher In The Rye 3

‘Sometimes characters can allow a strong feeling or emotion to
dominate their lives.’;
Holden allows the strong feelings and emotions of death, society, school
and innocence to dominate his life. Holden is a very sensitive boy who can not
ignore his problems, instead he dwells on them. These feelings and emotions
are dominant because Holden believes strongly in them.


The strong negative feelings that Holden has for his school and it’s
community are present because of it’s concern for an image. When students do
not put in they are expelled to keep the schools high academic rating, This is
represented when Holden says ‘I got the axe. They give guys the axe quite
frequently at Pencey.’; he does not like this as it does not allow students to be
individuals and be who they really want to be. Another reason Holden dislikes
school so much is because the way teachers have an unfair authority over their
students. Mr Spencer used his authority when he read out Holden’s paper.

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holden thought this was rude and said ‘I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him for
reading me that crap out loud. I wouldn’t’ve read it out loud to him if he’d
written it – I really wouldn’t.’;
Holden is not fond of the society that he lives in. It is a superficial
society that worships the movies and actors because they portray a type of
living that seems wonderful, although it is very false. Holden does not like the
movies, he views them as a world that people wish they could be in. An
example of this is when Holden says ‘If there is one thing I hate, it’s the
movies.’; Holden also dislikes the actors. He feels that they do not act like
common people instead they act ‘more like they knew they were celebrities’;
and that annoyed him because he can not understand why people admire them
so much. He thinks that actors are shallow and create an even bigger
misconception on life. Holdens way to cope with society is to wear his red
hunting hat in public. This is a way for him to demonstrate that he is different
and that he will not conform to the way society and people want him to. This is
shown when he calls his hat ‘a people shooting hat’;. Holden feels that society
is too concerned with materialism and appearance and he does not want to bee
a part of it and this is why he wears his red hunting hat.


The death of Holden’s bother has effected him tremendously. When
Allie died Holden revealed to us that he ‘broke all the windows in the garage’;
with his bare fists. When Holden felt lonely he would think of Allie, this is
represented when Holden is walking down a street and at the end of every
block he would say ‘; Allie, don’t let me disappear. Please Allie.’; Another
reason why death dominates Holdens life is because Allie is one of the few
people he actually likes. When Pheobe told him angrily that Allie was dead
Holden said ‘;Just because somebody’s dead, you don’t just stop liking them,
for Gods sake – especially if they were about a thousand times nicer than the
people you know that’re alive and all.’;
Trying to maintain peoples innocence is something that Holden strongly
believes in. It is a quality that he thinks people should never lose and go into a
false and deceptive world. Holden especially wants to stop children from
entering this world and because of this Holden said that if children are running
on a cliff ‘ and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from
somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day….I know it’s crazy, but
that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.’; He wants to be the person who
makes them see that the world is a hypocritical place to belong to and that they
should try to avoid it as much as they can. This shows us how strongly Holden
feels about preserving peoples innocence and individuality.


The feelings and emotions that Holden allows to dominate his life are all
important to him, which is expressed during the novel. Holden allows them to
dominate because they are something that he believes strongly in, even though
they bring back bad memories and things he is not fond of.