By today’s standards, The Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caulfield is remarkably independent as a high school student. Look at what he does on his own. He decides to leave school and travel home without telling his family. He expresses opinions that break with the norm. Yes, he sees just about everything as “phony,” but that’s because he’s looking beyond the surface of things in his life, and he doesn’t like what he sees. That’s a very independent mindset. He also pays the price for his independence, when he puts his trust in an adult from the school who then attempts to take advantage of him.