Freedom or Boredom? I was wondering is Holden looking for freedom when he goes to New York, or is he just bored?

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Holden would consider it boredom, because he considers himself above all those mundane "phonies" at his school.  He reminds me of students that I sometimes see at school, who are very gifted, but making poor grades, because they are not being "challenged" enough.  Holden sees himself as 'above' the regular modes of education.

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Freedom and boredom don't quite seem to capture the depth and complexity of Holden's situation. Maybe if we up the ante on boredom and start calling it ennui we begin to approach the philosophical urgency of Holden's state of mind.

If he craves freedom, I wonder what kind... I think we might say that he seeks escape - into innocence (an impossible escape) - and this escape bears some resemblance to an urge toward freedom. Yet "liberty" is not what he wants.

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I agree with number 4. Holden was a troubled kid. He did not understand the adult world, and he felt trapped in his life and betrayed by the adults and other people in it. Boredom may seem to describe Holden, but I don't tnink he ever thought he was going to be free.
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I agree with earlier comments suggesting that Holden is in many ways too shallow a character to have any really positive goal in mind, at least for much of the book. Instead he seems to some degree a drifter who allows chance and circumstances to direct his movements. Along the way, however, he encounters other characters -- such as the nuns -- who do seem to have definite, positive ideals and who have a positive influence on him.

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I would have said that Holden was looking for an escape, rather than freedom. He doesn't expect freedom - this is too positive a concept for him. He seeks change, maybe the hope to re-invent aspects of himself and his life to be better.

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He was about to be expelled anyway, and I think he really didn't know why he was going. He doesn't really know what he wants. When he gets there, he didn't even know who to call, which is why he wound up calling Faith. The incident with his roommate seems to have been a bridge too far, and it seems that New York City was a place to get away from the "phonies." Overall, I think it was perhaps boredom, perhaps freedom and adventure that drove him there, but he really seems to just want to get away.

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Though there is likely some element of boredom that compels Holden to leave the staid and predictable world of the boarding school, it is also generally considered to be the case that he was looking for freedom or a way out of the horrible guilt and sadness he felt.

He is clearly looking for things in New York, he goes to see Sally and urges her to run away with him.  He tries to sleep with a prostitute but wimps out at the last minute when he starts to understand that he just desperately wants someone to talk to.

He also wants to see his sister and to feel connected to something since he's been unable to do that since his brother Allie died.

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