‘Sometimes characters can allow a strong feeling or emotion todominate their lives.
‘;Holden allows the strong feelings and emotions of death, society, schooland innocence to dominate his life. Holden is a very sensitive boy who can notignore his problems, instead he dwells on them. These feelings and emotionsare dominant because Holden believes strongly in them. The strong negative feelings that Holden has for his school and it’scommunity are present because of it’s concern for an image.
When students donot put in they are expelled to keep the schools high academic rating, This isrepresented when Holden says ‘I got the axe. They give guys the axe quitefrequently at Pencey. ‘; he does not like this as it does not allow students to beindividuals and be who they really want to be. Another reason Holden dislikesschool so much is because the way teachers have an unfair authority over theirstudents. Mr Spencer used his authority when he read out Holden’s paper.
holden thought this was rude and said ‘I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him forreading me that crap out loud. I wouldn’t’ve read it out loud to him if he’dwritten it – I really wouldn’t. ‘;Holden is not fond of the society that he lives in. It is a superficialsociety that worships the movies and actors because they portray a type ofliving that seems wonderful, although it is very false. Holden does not like themovies, he views them as a world that people wish they could be in. Anexample of this is when Holden says ‘If there is one thing I hate, it’s themovies.
‘; Holden also dislikes the actors. He feels that they do not act likecommon people instead they act ‘more like they knew they were celebrities’;and that annoyed him because he can not understand why people admire themso much. He thinks that actors are shallow and create an even biggermisconception on life. Holdens way to cope with society is to wear his redhunting hat in public. This is a way for him to demonstrate that he is differentand that he will not conform to the way society and people want him to.
This isshown when he calls his hat ‘a people shooting hat’;. Holden feels that societyis too concerned with materialism and appearance and he does not want to beea part of it and this is why he wears his red hunting hat. The death of Holden’s bother has effected him tremendously. WhenAllie 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 isrepresented when Holden is walking down a street and at the end of everyblock he would say ‘; Allie, don’t let me disappear. Please Allie.
‘; Anotherreason why death dominates Holdens life is because Allie is one of the fewpeople he actually likes. When Pheobe told him angrily that Allie was deadHolden 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 thepeople you know that’re alive and all. ‘;Trying to maintain peoples innocence is something that Holden stronglybelieves in. It is a quality that he thinks people should never lose and go into afalse and deceptive world. Holden especially wants to stop children fromentering this world and because of this Holden said that if children are runningon a cliff ‘ and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out fromsomewhere and catch them.
That’s all I’d do all day. . . . I know it’s crazy, butthat’s the only thing I’d really like to be. ‘; He wants to be the person whomakes them see that the world is a hypocritical place to belong to and that theyshould try to avoid it as much as they can.
This shows us how strongly Holdenfeels about preserving peoples innocence and individuality. The feelings and emotions that Holden allows to dominate his life are allimportant to him, which is expressed during the novel. Holden allows them todominate because they are something that he believes strongly in, even thoughthey bring back bad memories and things he is not fond of.