What are some differences between Holden and J. D. Salinger

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Salinger, of course, was much older than Holden Caulfield when he wrote The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger demonstrated in his other writiings that he had a much better command of English than his young creation. Salinger knew himself better. He had a direction in life, which was that he wanted to be a creative writer; he became almost immediately successful. Many of his short stories were published in the New Yorker, and in several cases the editor William Shawn devoted an entire issue to one of Salinger's longer stories. Holden does not understand himself and lacks any sense of direction or motivation. He is undisciplined, whereas Salinger displayed some self-discipline in his life. He served in the Army during World War II and became a famous writer shortly after being discharged. Salinger seemed to be quite an introvert, whereas Holden behaves like an extravert throughout The Catcher in the Rye. Holden is always seeking company and apparently doesn't like to be alone. Even in the early chapters at Pencey he seeks out boys he doesn't even like, just to escape from being alone.

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The Catcher in the Rye

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