Holden shares many of his opinions about people and leadsthe reader on a 5 day visit into his mind. Holden, throughout the book, madeother people feel inferior to his own. I can relate to this because although Ido not view people inferior to myself, I do judge others unequally. Holden and Iboth have similar judgements of people from the way they act and behave. We alsoshare feelings about motivation as well as lack of it. After reading this book,I came to the conclusion that Holden and I are much more similar than Iinitially believed.
Holden portrayed others to be inferior to his own kind all throughout the book. He made several references as to how people aren’t as perfect as he was. “Thereason he Stradlater fixed himself up to look good was because he was madly inlove with himself. ” (pg. 27) Holden had an inferiority complex.
He was afraid ofnot having any special talents or abilities and used other methods to make himout to be a rough tough boy. “Boy, I sat at that goddam bar till around oneo’clock or so, getting drunk as a bastard. I could hardly see straight. ” (pg. 150) Holden tried all he could to fit in.
He drank, cursed and criticized lifein general to make it seem he was very knowing of these habits. I myself havefound me doing this at times, also. I, at times, feel the need to fit in to agroup and do things similar to what others do in order to gain acceptance bythem. I smoked a cigar once with two friends of mine because they kept going onand on about how great cigars were, but that was only once.
Holden and I bothplace people on levels other than our own for amount of knowledge and likenessto ourselves. Holden used the term ‘phonies’ to describe more than a few people in this book. He used the term to be what a person is if they don’t act naturally and followother people’s manners and grace. Holden didn’t like phonies, he thought of themas if they were trying to show off. He didn’t like it when they showed offbecause it seemed so fake and unnatural every time they would do so.
“At the end of the first act we went out with allthe other jerks for a cigarette. What a deal thatwas. You never saw so many phonies in all your life,everybody smoking their ears off and talking aboutthe play so that everybody could hear how sharp theywere. ” (pg. 126)I know many people like this as well.
I do not like phonies either. I have manyfriends who talk using full vocabulary just to try to impress you, and otherswho make note of everything they see to show you how perceptible they are. People do this when they have a fear of their own individuality and feel thatthey need to ace different to get people to like them. Holden and I both dislikephonies. We do not like people who take on roles of others to seem more likeablebecause they are insecure. Throughout the book Holden displays a lack of motivation for many things inwhich he should do.
Holden couldn’t even call up an old girlfriend whom he knewa long time ago. “But when I got inside this phone booth, Iwasn’t much in the mood any more to give oldJane a buzz. ” (Pg. 150)Holden also had a problem getting his motivation together in order to completeschoolwork and succeed in his prep school.
I have similar problems with mymotivation and find at times I must be in the mood to do something in order forme to accomplish it. This stems from our experience in the past being that wecan get through life, or the part we’ve been through already, with minimaleffort. Holden has had this opportunity to notice this as his parents have beenshuffling him around to different schools every time he flunks. He feels hisparents will be there to move him somewhere else and take care of him every