Holden is sixteen years old, and is a junior at a school called Pencey Prep. He gets expelled for failing four out of five of his classes. Holden is smart and complex, he tells his story in a sarcastic way. Though he never says so, he wants to live in a beautiful and innocent world and finds the ugliness of the world around him very painful. He uses sarcasm as his way of protecting himself from the pain and disappointment of the adult world.The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, conformity means the actions that replicate the acts of the majority of people in a society or group; the condition of obeying or agreeing with. Holden faces circumstances that force him to make his own decisions. He often rejects making decisions built off what others believe are correct. For instance, Holden buys a hat but does not wear it the way someone usually wear one. Holden states, “The way I wore it, I swung the old peak way around to the back—very corny, I’ll admit it, but I liked it that way. I looked good in it that way” (3, 17-18). This is one of the many times Holden chooses to do something because he likes it a certain way, instead of the compliant to other people’s standards.Consistent with Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word individualism means the desires of each person appear more significant than the desires of every person in a society or a group. Holden shows the idea of individualism with his judgments towards the previous prep schools he has attended and the people who went there. He states “Pencey was full of crooks. Quite a few guys came from these very wealthy families, but it was all full of crooks anyway. The more expensive the school is, the more crooks it has—I’m not kidding” (4). Holden shows his feelings towards the people that attend the prep school in a blunt way. He tells you that anyone who goes to a prep school must be from a wealthy family or be a crook. Holden makes it known .
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