How does Holden and Hamlet think in a negative point of view? How does that isolate them from everyone around them?And how might their judging of people isolated them? example Holden sees...

How does Holden and Hamlet think in a negative point of view? How does that isolate them from everyone around them?

And how might their judging of people isolated them? example Holden sees everyone as a phony person.

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In Catcher in the Rye and Hamlet, both Holden and Hamlet rant and complain about their respective societies, and they are justified in doing so.  Post-war America was full of corrupt, materialistic, sex-starved phonies.  Likewise, Denmark was a prison-like police state full of murder, incest, and adultery.

Both Holden and Hamlet have moralistic obsessions: they are all conscience.  Holden is obsessed with calling out phonies and protecting children and art from obsenity and commercialism.  Hamlet is obsessed with revenge, salvation, and his mother's sins.

Neither Holden nor Hamlet offer any redeeming moral advice or solutions to solve society's problems.  They seem to think their societies are beyond repair, and they may be right.  Both of them nearly commit suicide because they find themselves trapped in inescapable, meaningless existences.  Both Holden and Hamlet are marginalized: they exist on the fringes of society only as critics.  But, they have the courage to, in Holden's case, go home, and in Hamlet's case, fight on.

I don't see their viewpoints as negative.  I don't see them as whiners.  Rather, their rants and complaints are noble and courageous.  The complain about themselves as much as others.  Both call themselves cowards, but at least they are cowards with something so say (which, in Holden's case, I find hilarious).  Indeed, they say what most of us are afraid to say ourselves.  Living outside a corrupt, materialistic, and conformist society is a kind of religious duty.

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