How have you been ‘Holden’ up? Ahahahaha. I’m sorry… I understand you’ve had a rough go lately having been kick out of school and all, and you did have quite the crazy adventure in New York City. I think its good for you to have a little break and maybe think about your future and the direction you’re headed in. I know it’s hard sometimes but I feel that if you tried to be less negative and accept that you can’t control everything, especially change, you would be able to accomplish so much more and enjoy the life you have.
No offence but your quite the Debbie Downer. You constantly judge everything and everyone and instantly isolate yourself from those things. I know sometimes that feels easier and safer than trying to accept others and open up to them but but your negative attitude and your constant isolation doesn’t help anyone, especially yourself. Not everyone you see walking down the street is a phony and maybe if you actually gave them a chance to introduce themselves before you start judging them you’d realize that. For example, after you went ice skating with Sally you continued to ramble on about all the things you hate. You actually said you hate everything; living in New York, Taxicabs, Madison Avenue buses, drivers that always yell, and phony guys that call the Lunts angels. You have to look on the bright side of things instead of focusing on the negative side. Even though you may hate living in New York, it’s where your sister Phoebe, who you love, lives.
Speaking of Phoebe, you have to accept that she is growing up and changing which is something she has to do, for the most part, by herself. I understand that for you change is scary, hence why you love the museum where nothing changes, but it’s something you have to learn to live with. Sure it’s fine to protect her every once in I while like when you tried to rub off the graffiti in her school but you can’t prevent her from living her life the way she wants to live. I think this is something you’ve recently realized. As you said “the thing with kids is, if they want to grab the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off they fall off, but it’s bad if you say anything to them.”
Hope the future hold a brighter and better path for you, but really its up to you to make it that way. Just open up and try to express your compassion and caring nature for others.
Hope you’re doing a bit better man! It was definitely a rough few days there in New York for you but that doesn’t mean that things won’t get better. Try to learn from your experiences rather than dwell on past mistakes.
I know it’s hard to find connections with people when you’re scared to open up to them. Often times, connection can be quickly established, especially if you are willing to trust the person you are trying to create a relationship with. You were unable to call Jane for fear of rejection but I bet if you had you would have been pretty surprised. From my experience, people are more willing to help you than you think. While it’s a part of being human to feel isolation and loneliness, it’s also a part of being human to feel connection. You shouldn’t deny yourself the basic human need for communication- just push your pride aside long enough to reach out to someone.
In difficult situations, being optimistic may seem near impossible- but it can be done! I am so sorry about the loss of your brother Allie, I know you really loved and admired him. While it would be unthinkable to forget about someone who was so close to you and touched your life in such a major way, it’s simply not healthy to dwell on Allie’s death so much. Talking about a tragic death of someone close to you is probably one of the hardest things you could ever do in life. It’s so easy to feel like no one else understands. It’s so hard to sort through all of your emotions and to even figure out how something like this could happen. But, Holden, it’s so unhealthy to deal with it in the way you are- with a lot of drinking and a lot of smoking. You’re selling yourself short by abusing substances like that- trust me. Allie wouldn’t have wanted you to remember him with sadness in your heart; he would have wanted you to remember himwith a smile on your face. Death is undoubtedly one of the most difficult circumstances to deal with, but there are so many people that are ready to listen and help you out man. You just have to trust in them.
Which brings me to the final thing I want to say: Stop making everyone out to be the enemy. Not everyone is against you buddy. Every time you meet someone you already have them categorized as a “phony” or a “moron” before you even get the chance to know them. Stop jumping to conclusions about the character of other people. Give others a chance and, who knows, maybe you’ll make a lasting connection or even just share a pleasant encounter. Give it a try sometime, you may surprise yourself!
Hope you get the very most you can out of your life Holden! But remember that that depends on YOUR decision to accept life as an opportunity, not a curse.
All the best,
I connected with ya bud, even if it was in the most intangible way. I didn’t have a dead brother, nor did i attend a boarding school – although mine does have some big douches and “phonies”, but with all that i never once made the insane action to travel to New York for three days of pure smoking, drinking, and trying to pick up whatever kind of bitches you could. But with all that said i cant help but feel sympathy for you. I want to try to help you understand that life is not about finding the faults in people; it is about looking beyond it and surfacing the good. It is the same as helping those nuns, you showed them generosity and they exchanged their kindness towards you. That in itself is the building of integrity that makes life all worth it in the end.
Just a few tips and honest points to help you out in the future. You are a phoney. We all are to be honest. The truth can be subjective sometimes and that is what it means to be an individual. Also stop asking the taxi drivers about the ducks. They don’t know and nor do they care. Also don’t go out and try to get all these whores. For one its expensive, and two you could catch something which would make matters way worse. Theres nothing i can really say to you about Allie, nothing that will make things better anyways. I have never been in that boat to lose someone close like that, but maybe talking to anyone, about anything might help even the slightest. And for Jane, just don’t let her know you described her as being “muckle-mouthed”, for some reason, ya know being a girl and all i don’t think she would take it as a compliment.
But in reality, you are not that different to other people. Everyone knows what it is like to be sad, to be happy, to be angry, and especially to be lost. It’s how we relate to one another. We all wonder the same spectrum of human emotion and experience, and that is just something that you have to realize. Just focus on yourself and you could be a catcher in a number of ways.
So there ya go. Good luck with it all friend.
What’s cracking dude? How’ve you been? Man it seems like you had a rough go at it for awhile. Firstly getting kicked out of school.. brah you just up’d your street cred so much. Too bad you chose to leave cause everyone was phony instead of you getting kicked out, right? Well your marks would of gotten you kicked out eventually. I know it can be tough to focuse on school when everyone around you isnt fair to you but you got to be able to block those people out. Maybe just stear away from certain people and find a few people you like and stick with them. You’re only 16 you got lots of time! High school is scam anyway!
Talking about scams, I was conversing with my pal Maurice the other day. He told me how he gipped you out of 5 extra bucks. You didnt even sleep with her! I was gonna shoot Maurice for ya but then I realized I dont have a gun and jail seems a little lame. Like I was saying earlier you are still young, only 16. You arnt even ripe yet. The whole sex thing will get a lot clearier, give it time. Whatever you do, dont go to Stradlater for advise about sex. Actually if anything maybe report him if you hear rumors about sexual assaults happening around Pency. Just do your own thing, whatever works for you.
One last thing bud, stop worring so much! You tend to over think things and get caught up in small details that dont matter or are out of your control. Just take a chill pill; as long as you dont buy the pill from Maurice. Dont think about the past wondering ‘what if’. It happened, it’s over, just move on. Also stop worring about the future, it hasnt happened yet so just live the way you want to live. As for your gal Jane. Call her up damn it! Stop going for the mature ladies, they arnt all cougars.
Anyways I got to peace.. untill next time, keep it chill.
Michael A. Smith
Hey there Holden,
How is everything at the rest home in California? I am sure it is nice to have a break after all the crazy things that happened to you in New York last December. I’ve just finished reading about your journey, and it was quite a trip indeed! You definitely made some connections about how the real world works and who you must be to survive in that world; however, I fear you have become jaded in the light of your experiences, and that you tend to stay on the dark side of matters that have affected you.
You can not live your life as the only authentic person you know besides your younger sister Phoebe. You identify so many people as phonies, and write them off before they have the chance to impress you, and consequently you are alienating yourself from the society in which you WILL have to live. Your experiences with Maurice, the Bartenders, and Mr. Antollini can not define how you feel about everyone in this world. You should approach every persons with the benefit of the doubt you would give to Phoebe, or Allie if he was still alive. Try to see the good before latching onto a fault that will make a relationship impossible. I know you can do it – just look at how much those nuns loved you!
In the meantime, try to enjoy the company of those around you and make some new friends. Wherever you choose to go to continue your studies will be a very lucky school indeed, and hopefully you will focus in on something that you feel makes a positive difference int he world. You wanted to be a Catcher in the Rye, but that poem is not a job opportunity. Everyone must fall off the cliff or carousel of innocence at some point, and you sir have fallen off. Take your newfound adulthood and use it to protect people coming of age; perhaps you can not catch everyone, but instead provide them with a softer landing – just a thought.
I wish you best of luck with your recovery, and if you ever need to talk with someone even slightly intelligent again, try the library – not the bar.
The world is developing and changing these days. When you ride a public bus or a subway, you can see most people are using electronics but only a few people are still reading books. While some people using technologies for entertainments, some other people are reading books in digital form. Because of this I don’t think books are dying but changing their medium. People still want to get knowledge however they find digital technology is better than books for getting the information that they want. In our society, unlike in the novel, people use technology as books and because of this, if people burn books today, it will not matter.
Technologies in our society create various ways to get knowledge and information while the technologies in the book just distract people from thinking and the knowledge of books. The role of technologies in the novel is only for entertaining and enjoying people with their time. “ In her ears the little seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind.” (Ray Bradbury 10.) This quote shows the function of technology in the world in the novel. They use technologies to interrupt silence, thinking and the idea of knowledge from people. However, in our world, technologies supply entertainments to people but also a lot of information and knowledge so even people who reading books decreased, people still reading through technologies. Therefore, book burning doesn’t influence to our society anymore when they have much more knowledge and information in technologies.
Technologies create more opportunities to find knowledge. In today’s world, we can even read books from watching television. For example, when authors came out and explain and talk about the books can help people to understand and message of the books without even trying to find or research the book anywhere. Also websites with the book by many authors and movies from the original of books are all very convenience sources to indirectly get information and knowledge from books. “That’s my family.” Mildred called Parlor wall as her family when sick Montag asked her to turn off the parlor wall, she never turned it off for him because of her happiness and entertainment. This quote shows how entertainment of technology is addictive and it even gives bad affect to communication between people and caring of families. The comparison between television of our world between parlor wall in the novel show us different using and symbol of technology and how those affect to people and their society.
Development of technology make people don’t read books but they still keep trying to get knowledge and information through the technologies. Therefore burning books doesn’t affect anything to our society while we have good technology to use and share all the better information and knowledge.
I’ve been reading what you wrote about your adventures in New York recently and I have a few concerns. I can see you’re having a bit of trouble finding your way and are confused by what lies ahead, which is completely normal! Unfortunately though, you also seem to have developed a habit of pushing people away and keeping any form of emotions at arms length. While, after so many traumas in your childhood, this is understandable, it is still not healthy or beneficial to you. Until you can start to let people in and stop denying yourself any kind of human sentiment, you will continue to struggle with settling in to who you are.
You tend to focus on the flaws in everything around you, which is a way of always keeping yourself protected. Because you have lost Allie, someone so close to you, and not really had an opportunity to grieve properly, your first instinct is always to find a reason to alienate yourself. I presume your experiences with harassment in the past, which have exposed you to the cruelties of the adult world, have also contributed to your mistrust and confusion towards people and growing up. While you can always see good traits in the people you encounter, you tend to search for the bad, the “phony”, and fixate on it. The phoniness of others give you an excuse to keep them at a distance. If you can’t look past peoples imperfections you will no be able to see them for who they are and connect with them on any level of sophistication. Based on your acts of desperation, particularly the excessive drinking and trying to communicate with Allie in the streets, you seem to be working through some sort of mental illness throughout your time in New York. While it may seem like the hardest thing to do, you have to allow yourself to feel things and share with people who love you. It is through accepting emotions and trying to understand them that we are able to connect with people, and it is through connecting with people that we are able to grow and understand ourselves.
I think it would be really beneficial to you if you started to take life seriously, including the people in it and particularly yourself. The things that you have been dismissing as “phony” are what make everyone relatable and human. If you try to let your guard down a little bit and let people in, phoniness and all, I think you will see a big change in your ability to adjust to the world around you.
School is great but I can’t wait to graduate! After 13 years, it’s time now. The time has come to move on to bigger, better things. 13 years of sweat, tears and, and sacrifice. 13 years of hard work. I didn’t get where I am today by doing nothing. Now, with graduation on my finger tips, I must not screw it up. I remember first when I started school, in kindergarten my only friend being a girl named Molly. My partner in crime. Her and I would hide under tables. And just do what we could to be away from the group. We were different. Back then my fellow classmates and teachers could barely understand a word that I would say. I remember all the times people were mean to me at school in Torbay. Bully is so very wrong. But I also remember all the good times that now outweigh the bad. I’ve came a long ways. Only a matter of months, until it’s off to University I shall go!
– Matt Barter
This life can be a tough one – but only if you choose it to be that way. From reading about your misguided adventures throughout New York City, I quickly realized that this was not just a 3 day exploit; rather, it was a representation of the direction of your life. Your apathy and indifference towards so many aspects of society left you isolated and ultimately, lonely from human interaction. Its not just you, Holden, that seeks to engage and form relationships, we all do – you just need to open yourself up towards people and actually give them a chance. I would like to quickly point out 2 instances where you would’ve really helped yourself by taking my advice.
Firstly, I would like to focus on your relationship with Sally and with Jane. You willingly call up Sally instead of Jane, even though you like Jane more, but you reconcile with yourself because Sally “sure did look beautiful”. Directly after, however, you tell Sally off and subsequently feel bad about. Holden, you should not settle for superficial affection – and not just because everyone says so. Just look back, you ended up telling her off. Instead of debating whether you should call Jane or not, just do it. What’s the worst that can happen? She says no? Probably still better than Sally bragging about all her guys from top notch universities. Secondly, I would like to touch on Allie’s death. There are no words to describe how much I sympathize with you on this subject; however, sympathizing years after an event will not undo it. Rather, it keeps the event fresh in your mind and consequently plagues you day to day. Holden, you should really open up and talk to your elder family members, such as D.B. While you may right him off as a “phony” for selling out to Hollywood, conversing with him will allow you to channel your anger into mature discourse. Phony as he may be, like Mr. Antolini, D.B. can give you reasonable and careful insight into your troubles. At the very least, he can help you take an ominous weight off of your chest by simply chatting about it.
In closing, there are no right or wrong decisions in life – our choices are all subjective to our own experience. But when it is your experience that is lacking in substance then there must be something missing. My final advice to you, Holden, is to be confident in yourself, open yourself up to people and don’t write people off as “phony” from their appearance – give them a chance. These are all ways to engage in thoughtful relationships, which not only opens yourself up as an individual, but it opens life up to new possibilities.
You’re probably wondering what the hell this letter is, showing up at your door out of nowhere. But before you throw this sheet of paper in the trash, I’d really like you to read. I feel bad for you, Holden, and I’d like to help.
Listen, life is not about finding the flaws in people. You are so distracted by these flaws that you are left with the impression that other people (when they sometimes are annoying and frustrating and get in the way) are bad—phony. Holden if you never manage to get over this outlook, you will never live a happy life. Life is about looking beyond the bad and seeing the good. Don’t worry—its not too late. I remember you helping the nuns, you showed them kindness and they returned kindness to you. There is hope! You’re 16. This is only the beginning. Please think about this— you’ll be surprised how it all comes back to you full circle.
I also want you to know that it is okay to having feelings— reveal emotions. We are all human beings. We all feel mad, excited, sad, and happy, at times in our lives. By bottling up these built up emotions you are just pushing the people who you care about further and further away from you. Believe it or not—this is main reason of your pain and suffering. I don’t know what to say about Allie. I honestly don’t know what it feels like to lose somebody so close to me. I don’t think anything that I say will make it better— other than talk. Talk to anybody. I do know that its normal to feel that way that you do, so don’t hide it.
One more thing— try not to be so hard on yourself. As the cliché goes, stand up for yourself. Don’t let guys like Stradlater push you around. When Stradlater asks you to do things like write his descriptive paper for him—don’t do it! Guys like that are taking advantage of guys like you. I think you are so desperate for some sort of connection with people, you do things like this. If you look in the right places, natural connections with happen, and they’ll be a whole lot better than that.
I know you think life if just one big crapshoot. Look a little further and I think you’ll be surprised with what you find.