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Holden's fantasy world
Transcript of Holden's fantasy world
Life is a game
' "Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules." ... Game my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it's a game, all right - I'll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hot-shots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game.' (2.8)
Holden always feels like he is one the wrong side of the game, the side with all of the non hot-shots, and that's why he doesn't want to play the game anymore, or he wants to make up his own rules
"That's a deer shooting hat." "Like hell it is." I took it off and looked at it. I sort of closed one eye, like I was taking aim at it. "This is a people shooting hat," I said. "I shoot people in this hat." (3.22)
When Holden has the hat on, he gets the courage to "play the game", to "shoot" the people around him like Stradlater or Maurice, either by hurting them or by talking them down - false courage
"But I'm crazy. I swear to God I am. About halfway to the bathroom, I sort of started pretending I had a bullet in my guts. Old Maurice had plugged me. ... As soon as old Maurice opened the doors, he'd see me with the automatic in my hand and he's start screaming at me, in this very high-pitched, yellow-belly voice, to leave him alone. But I'd plug him anyway (14. 104)
Whenever someone hurts Holden, Holden will just drift off into his fantasy world, which reveals that he hates to be in pain, and would like to conflict equal or greater pain on the person who hurt him, but in real life Holden does not have the courage to do so, making him seem yellow in his mind, but calling everyone else yellow, sort of like an empty threat
"When I was
drunk, I started that stupid business with the bullet in my guts again. I was the only guy at the bar with a bullet in their guts. I kept putting my hand under my jacket, on my stomach and all, to keep the blood from dripping all over the place. I didn't want anybody to know I was a even wounded. I was concealing the fact that I was a wounded sonuvabitch. (20. 150)
Holden knows he is hurting himself and only himself through his selfdestructive behavior, and he doesn't want to face anyone he knows or is close to, yet he wants to be with someone, which is why he calls up Sally, someone who is not close to him that he will later leave
Solitary confinement together
"We'll stay in these cabin camps and stuff like that till the dough runs out. Then, when the dough runs out, I could get a job somewhere and we could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, we could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, we could get married or something. I could chop all our own wood in the wintertime and all." (17. 132)
Holden is so desperate to be alone that he's willing to runaway when he is a kid with a girl he barely knows. I think he does this because he just wants a place to call home, with people and a scenery that he can rely on, with nothing ever changing or moving, and he wants someone he can rely on, regardless on how well he actually knows them
"Everybody'd think I wast a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone. They'd let me put gas and oil in their stupid cars, and they'd pay me a salary and all for it, and I'd build me a little cabin somewhere with the dough I made and live there for the rest of my life. I'd build it right near the woods, but not right in them, because I'd want it to be sunny as hell"