If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. (1)
This quote is the very first sentence in the Catcher in the Rye. It is important because it gives the reader insight into Holden’s character. He gives the impression that he is a no-nonsense kind of guy that does not care to get too personal with others, but at the same time he demonstrates a bit of a rebellious attitude.
They gave me frequent warning to start applying myself, especially around mid-terms, when my parents came up for a conference with old Thurmer- but I didn’t do it. So I got the ax. (6)
This is important because it gives background information into Holden’s current life situation, as well as revealing another characteristic of his personality. Holden does not have the motivation to do well in school, and he does not seem to care about being expelled. Being the teenager he is, he does not realize the importance of education; he does not even care about the consequences.
And yet I still act sometimes like I was only about twelve. Everybody says that, especially my father. It’s partly true, too, but it isn’t all true. People always think something’s all true. I don’t give a damn, except that I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes, I act a lot older than I am – I really do- but people never notice it. People never notice anything. (13)
This quote is one of the first of many times where Holden says one thing and then contradicts himself. He says that he, a sixteen year old, acts as young as a twelve, and then proceeds to say that he acts older than his age. However, sometimes acting younger or older than they really are is typical teenager behavior. This quote is also important because he feels...