I’ve started a new little series on the blog, and that is ‘Lessons we could learn from…’ Each month i will talk about a different character, that doesn’t need to be a protagonist, just any character that i feel i have either learned a lesson from or i think others will benefit from hearing about the lessons that character brings to life. These posts will be on the first Monday of every month and will allow me to talk about my personal thoughts on the messages within novels that i’ve read or studied. It also means that if you haven’t read a novel i want to talk about, it gives you a little bit of an idea of the characters within it. Keep your eyes out for the posts that are going to come!
For my dissertation in my third year of university, I wrote a whole 12,000 words on Holden Caulfield as a character. If you didn’t know, Holden is the protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I originally wanted to write my dissertation on The Catcher In The Rye being a popular classic novel whereas in fact it was the first YA novel to be branded as a YA novel. However I focused it down to the characters within the novel, specifically Holden.
If you know very little about Holden as a character, he is quite obnoxious but generally also quite anxious about life and most of all, if the people around him actually like him. He’s stuck with the idea that everyone around him is very fake, and he doesn’t want to be fake like them. It turns out that him in himself is a very ‘fake’ person.
All in all I found out a lot by analysing Holden’s behaviours around other characters and figured a lot of people could learn a lot from his actions. He is one of the most complex characters that I have ever encountered and he is written incredibly well. I fell completely in love with Holden and therefore learned a lot from him. Here are some things that i feel like everyone could learn from Holden:
- Lying unnecessarily gets you nowhere.
- Treasure your family because they will always be the ones to pick you up when you fall.
- Never try to grow up, it will happen naturally.
- Don’t push your relationships with people, if they’re meant to be, they will be.
- If you need to ask for help, get help. Going to seek advice from someone older will never be a bad thing.
If you want to take away something from The Catcher In The Rye let it be these little life lessons that everyone could use to keep in mind.
Let me know what you think about these posts and I’ll keep you up to date over on our Twitter @TLCCBlog with what characters will be coming up!