October 16, 2013
The Catcher in the Rye
How contrast is used in the novel to demonstrate...
Holden is a naive sixteen year old who defines adulthood as phoniness and childhood as innocence. His mind is very inflexible and can only trust or love a couple of people, who are Phoebe, Allie and Mr. Antolini. Since he cannot trust the vast majority, he tries to sabotage any new relationships. Contrast between his actions and thoughts are used in the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger to show how Holden tries to sabotage all his relationships in different ways.
Holden’s interactions with Mr. Antolini demonstrate contrast between his thoughts and actions. This is given when Holden visits Mr. Antolini’s house and is petted by him in his sleep. Mr. Antolini is the only adult that Holden can trust since he is not, “phony”; He believes this due to Mr. Antolini taking off his jacket and putting it over the body of James Castle and carrying him to the nurse not caring if his jacket got all bloody. He was the only person who showed any pure kindness or courage in this incident. After Holden wakes up with a start, feeling Mr. Antolini’s hand on his head, he instantly makes up his mind that Mr. Antolini is a flit. This I think contrasts from the reality of this event. I believe that Mr. Antolini was not petting his head because he was a flit, but because he was just being generous and feeling sympathetic towards him. He thinks, “I mean I started thinking that even if he was a flit he certainly’d been very nice to me.”(pg. 253) but never returns to Mr. Antolini’s house. There are a few consequences from the contrast between his thoughts and actions. If he had gone back to Mr. Antolini’s house, he could have regained his trust of Mr. Antolini, because he could have been persuaded that Mr. Antolini was not a flit. Also, Holden would not have fallen apart into pieces, since he still would have been...