Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
For Holden, the word "people" marks Holden's attempt to separate himself from others. Holden is not like other “people”; the world is against him. Generalizing in this way, setting himself apart, can make him feel better about his own idiosyncrasies and low self-esteem, giving him a sense that he is better than the mass of people, who fail to notice what he perceives. Holden sees through phoniness while others accept it. For example when he talks about Ernie, the piano player "I'm not too sure what the name of the song was that he was playing when I came in, but whatever it was he was really stinking it up. He was putting all these dumb, show-offy ripples in the high notes, and a lot of other very tricky stuff that gives me a pain in the $@#. You should've heard the crowed, though when he was finished. You would've puked. They went mad. They were exactly the same morons that laugh like hyenas in the movies at stuff that isn't funny.
"I don't like any shows very much, if you want to know the truth. They're not as bad as movies, but they're certainly nothing to rave about. In the first place, I hate actors. They never act like people. They just think they do. Some of the good ones do, in a very slight way, but not in a way that's fun to watch. Andy if any actor's really good, you can always tell he knows he's good, and that spoils it."
Then half the time Holden is acting as if he's crazy and delusional and is just as capricious as the people he meets and criticizes.
"I don't even know why I started all that stuff with her. I mean about going somewhere, to Massachussetts and Vermont and all. I probably wouldn't've taken her even if she'd wanted to go with me. she wouldn't've have been anybody to go with. the terrible part, though, is that I meant it when I asked her"
"I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can."
Here, Holden reflects on the adolescent male’s (or perhaps most males’, most people’s) tendency to overreach, to create relationships in their minds on the basis of a single seemingly genuine encounter. A single “pretty” thing launches fantasies of love. The more alienated and lonely Holden becomes, the more he recedes into his own fantasies, yet he recognizes that seeking pleasure through this kind of imagination is just “crazy,” not an authentic way to temper the pain he feels.
What really gets me about this book is there really isn't a great lesson to be learned. I don't feel that Holden had changed or matured at the end of the book. He did admit that he missed his friends at the private school he was kicked out of. But this quote at the end tells me he still has the same destructive attitude as he did at the beginning. . He shows no motivation or determination. He doesn't seem to care much about himself from my perspective.
"A lot of people, especially this one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if i'm going to apply myself when I go back to school next September. It's such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean how do you know what you're going to do till you do it? The answer is you don't. i think I am, but how do know?"
All in all i felt the book was very unsatisfying. Have you read it? What did you think?