The Catcher in the Rye really is an interesting book. I am glad to say that I ended the year with a novel like this because it leaves me thinking. First lets talk about the protagonist Holden Caulfield, shall we? His personality spoke to me from the first page. “If you really want to hear about it”, he states, “the first thing you’ll want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like…but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth” (pg. 1). From the beginning, Holden is engaging me into a conversation. Now whether his intended audience was me or not is debatable, but from where I was sitting, that is sure how it felt like. Holden began speaking as if he was answering a question you were dying to know. His words wanted readers to believe that he was this interesting, cool character that is basically better than everybody else. But when occasions come to test that theory, his actions say otherwise.
Holden first contradicts himself in the first page, whether he realizes it or not. He starts off saying that he doesn’t want to talk about himself and his whole life story but that is exactly what he ends up doing throughout the whole book. Holden shares with readers the best and worst times of his life. Holden has a habit of contradicting himself in every turn. An example is when he stated, “I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot” (pg.18).But it’s one thing to say something and then say the complete opposite, and another to say something and do the complete opposite. Because as my sister always puts it, “actions speak louder than words”.
The time that Holden called the prostitute is a good example of this. Holden was trying to convince readers (or himself) how he was feeling sexy so he called a prostitute to come meet him in his hotel room. Only when she came, he suddenly wanted to just sit down and talk. “Don’t you feel like talking for a while?” Holden asks (pg 95). Then when the prostitute got mad because she thought she wasn’t getting paid, Holden assured her saying, “I said I’d pay you for coming and all. I really will. I have plenty of dough” (pg 97) to which he totally ignores when he decides not to give her the ten dollars.
Holden displays personality through his actions and his aura through his words. His actions shows his indecisiveness. “While I don’t believe any one action defines who someone is, I think there’s something to this. Actions speak louder than words. And repeated actions are what shape our character and reputation,” said Lori Deschene in an article. “A good man doesn’t have to go around bragging about being one. He lets his actions speak louder than his words” tweeted @Digitaldrop. This all proves that what you say isn’t the whole truth if it isn’t proven by a little action.