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In the novel Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger Holden Caulfield displays characteristics of the cynics mentality Holden hates everything about the world he finds it phony Salinger That mentality in itself may very well be a defense mechanism that Holden displays when he is uncomfortable or put into a certain position perhaps when he is nervous Cynicism is a view on life that people develop through life experiences Where when and how Holden developed a cynical personality and why he uses it tell a lot about the character Holden in depth Websters Dictionary defines the word cynic as follows a faultfinding captious critic especially one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest cynic That definition does nothing other than making cynics sound pernicious it doesnt show the big picture Theres no mention of lost values sorrowful humor and not even the slightest hint to the wounded childlike soul that lurks behind a cynics sarcasm i-cynic Perhaps there is more to cynics other than hating everything that occupies space Cynics are idealists under a misshapen and contorted exterior In the words of a cynic the correct and absolute definition for a true cynic is as follows an idealist whose rose-colored glasses have been removed snapped in two and stomped into the ground immediately improving his vision i-cynic But there must be a reason for Holden to be a cynic people are not just born cynical Something in Holdens past directly affected his view on life Holden never really was the same after his little brother Allie died He never got over his brothers death as he constantly referred to him throughout the novel The thing was I couldnt think of a room or a house or anything to describe the way Stradlater said he had to have So what I did I wrote about my brother Allies baseball mitt Hes dead now He got leukemia and died when were
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