Holden Caulfield's Lies example essay topic

778 words
J.D. Salinger represents Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye as a lazy seventeen-year-old boy who is trying to figure out the world and expresses himself by lying for entertainment. Once Holden starts out by saying one lie, he keeps on lying to defend his last lie and he doesn't know how to get out of it. Many people lie when they are young and even when you are an adult but Holden does it excessively. He doesn't care who he is lying to just as long as they believe him.

One of the reasons he might lie is because he has an imagination that goes wild at times and he needs to express it to someone. Holden has many types of lies. The typical one is a lie just to get him out of trouble or a particular situation. Holden was at a bar in New York and saw his brother's old girlfriend who wanted to talk to him. Instead of staying and just talking with her, he said, "I was just leaving, I have to meet somebody" which, of course, was a lie. Holden figures by lying he could get himself out of the bar.

Another kind of lie Holden uses is fooling with people's minds. When Holden gets on the train to New York City, he sits next to a woman whose son goes to Pencey. They talked extensively about Pencey and her son's involvement with the school. He tells her, "He adapts himself very well to things. He really does. I mean he really knows how to adapt himself".

(Page 55) Holden also says, "Well, a bunch of us wanted Ernie to be president of the class. I mean he was the unanimous choice. I mean he was the only boy that could really handle the job". (Page 57) While saying all of this to Ernie's mother, Holden was saying in his head, "Her son was doubtless the biggest bastard that ever went to Pencey, in the whole crumby history of the school.

He was always going around snapping his soggy old wet towel at people's asses. That's exactly the kind of a guy he was". (Page 54) What he said to the mother were all lies that made the mother feel proud of her son, until she realizes the truth. These lies are entertainment for Holden. By the end of the conversation, Holden feels bad for lying, but he still enjoys fooling with people's minds.

Another kind of lie is when Holden tells lies just because he is too lazy to tell the truth. On the train, Ernie's mother asked Holden why his nose was bleeding. Instead of telling the truth he said, "I got hit with a snowball, one of those very icy ones". (Page 56) He lied about this because he did not feel like telling her what really happened. "It would " ve taken too long", (page 56) he said. One could give him credit because he had a pretty sharp answer about why his nose was bleeding, which was convincing.

Holden has not done any real harm to the people he has lied to. He teases people with his lies but never really hurts them physical or mentally. Holden tricks the girl in the nightclub about seeing Gary Copper. She never knew out that Gary Copper really didn't appear in the nightclub. This never made her look bad in front of her friends or upset her. This shows that Holden never hurts people with his lies.

For Holden it would be great by the end of the book if he at least tried to minimize the amount of lies he tells to people. He should find a way of expressing himself without fooling with people's mind as much as he does. The only way that Holden will ever realize that lying doesn't amount to anything good is when a lie comes back to him. If Ernie's mother and Holden ever discussed Holden's lies, he might realize the effect of his lies on others. Maybe he would stop and think next time before he told another lie. Lying doesn't really make Holden feel happier especially when he is the only one that understands the joke that he plays on people.

If one was to make a joke or fool around with someone's mind the only way it would be funny is if another person understood it.