Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 1

            A significant characteristic that Holden portrays throughout chapter one, that may create more difficulties later in the novel, is his careless attitude.

            He shows a careless attitude towards his own life, as well as his in school experiences. “That’s also how I practically got t.b. and came out here for all these goddam checkups and stuff. I’m pretty healthy, though” (J.D. Salinger 5). As Holden talks about smoking and getting sick he acts as if it was not a big deal to be so ill. He also ignores many notices about his poor grades, and progress, and probation in school. Without an education he isn’t going to be able to move forward and have the skills necessary for advancement later on in life. The very fact that this doesn’t bother him exemplifies his lack of character and poor work ethic. He doesn’t demonstrate a strong desire to pursue anything later than life, has a “bad boy” attitude, and acts as if he is too cool for everything. He uses very vulgar language which shows that he doesn’t really care how he appears to other people. This lack of respect towards himself may also be a result of something the reader might discover later on in the book as well.

            Holden is also very careless about his schooling.  He did not feel badly about forgetting the equipment in the subway. “I left all the foils and equipment and stuff on the goddam subway. It wasn’t my fault though” (Salinger 3). This lack of responsibility and ownership for his mistakes reflects how he doesn’t care for anyone else besides himself and his reputation. He doesn’t put any effort towards school and his education. He was told many times that he was close to being kicked out and once he finally reached the point where they had to remove him from the school, he behaved as if it was no big deal.  He didn’t want to try in school and this lack of effort resulted to the end of his education at Pencey. This school is very distinguished and has a stellar reputation. To have the honor of being a student Holden should been  proud and exhibit a concerted effort toward a high scholastic record. His poor attitude led him to lose the honor and privilege to go to this Pencey and left him to try to find another place to attend school. When he got expelled from Pencey he played it off as it was an occurrence that often happened and that he wasn’t the only victim of this type of situation.   These together led show Holden as having a lack of care for his life, and schooling which can possibly cause him difficulties later on in the book.

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