Catcher in the Rye

Does Holden’s character show empathy?
Do you know someone who is very negative?   Do you find it hard to see the positives in them? Holden Caulfield is indeed a hypocrite and tends to see only the negative aspects of life.   When reading Catcher in the Rye, Holden clearly states his opinions and can come across as very mean.   However if you take a deeper look into Holden’s true motives and the fact he has a physiological disorder, you might be able to understand him better.   Holden is not selfish and he does experience empathy that is not always apparent to the reader.   Empathy is one of the main themes in the book and Holden experiences it quite often.
Some people may find it hard to believe Holden does experience empathy.   According to the dictionary, empathy is, “the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another”(   In other words, empathy is the ability to relate to another’s feelings and put yourself in someone’s place.   Throughout the book, Holden experiences empathy many times.   Most people don’t see this because of how negative Holden is all of the time but if you take a closer look, Holden actually does.   Peter J. Seng might be willing to disagree.   He says, “While Holden is quick to pass severe judgments on others he is not so quick to see the faults in himself…. It might be said that Holden's chief fault is his failure "to connect" (to use Forster's phrase); he hates lies, phoniness, pretense, yet these are often his own sins”(Seng).   Holden is very critical of others and definitely has his own faults, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have empathy for others.   He may be judgmental, but there is proof that Holden does in fact have empathy and tries to overcome his mental state.
Holden, in general, does not like to believe what people tell him.   However he respects them almost to a fault.   When Holden goes to visit Mr. Spencer before heading out to New York City, Mr. Spencer...