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In The Catcher in the Rye, what is significant about Dr. Thurmer's comment: "life is...
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The significance of this comment is that it reflects the kind of adult world view about abiding by social rules and conventions, which Holden, in the full throes of adolescence, rebels against, at least in his thoughts. While agreeing outwardly with the statement, as repeated by Mr Spencer, Holden remarks in a cynical aside to the reader:
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 hotshots, then what’s a game about it? Nothing. No game. (chapter 2)
Holden resents this labelling of life as a mere ‘game’, as though it’s easy for everyone to achieve happiness and success simply by following a designated set of rules. Lost, confused, repelled by his peers and grown-ups alike, he feels things are much more complicated than that. To him, adults are really trivialising matters by calling life a game. Maybe it’s okay for the ‘hotshots’, the popular, good-looking, well-connected types that Holden feels inferior to, but other people, he thinks, don’t stand a chance.
Posted by gpane on August 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM (Answer #1)
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