Catcher In The Rye Alienation Analysis

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In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden is a teenage boy growing up in the 1950s who feel alienated from the rest of society. His life, in a brief description, seems like the other boys’ around him- expensive prep school, pretty girls, and a caring family- but when one looks closer, it is the apparent that he feels different than the others. His thoughts, interests, and personality was quite the opposite of those around him. In fact, he never seemed to have a place where he belonged. Everyone around him had a group; they all had people similar to themselves who would stand up for each other. Holden on the other hand, didn’t have this kind of group, rather he was different than those around him, and so he became solitary. This solitude brought…show more content…
As the signs of these problems became apparent, Holden cried out, pleading for someone to support him. No one did, though, and Holden was left alone and helpless. Holden’s alienation from society found him with no one to listen to him, revealing how society is too selfish to aid the helpless. Holden’s cries for help were not heard, showing how society does not hear the helpless. Holden, throughout all of The Catcher in the Rye, asks many people to eat with him. Every person he asked, though, either refused his offer or was not interested in what he had to say. The cab driver driving Holden to his hotel in New York “[had] no time for liquor” when he was asked to get a drink with him (Salinger 93). This man was the third person Holden asked to get a drink with that night, and the third person to refuse him. Holden tried, he genuinely tried to talk to someone, to be heard by someone, but no one would listen. Everyone was already too…show more content…
Eventually, Holden got a few people to eat with him. While most looked over his issues, a few pointed out that he needed help. Luce, a man Holden had a drink at a bar with, suggested Holden “… go to a psychoanalyst…” but quickly added “… [he] couldn’t care less…” if Holden visited one or not (Salinger 164). A few people saw that Holden needed help, but all they were willing to do was jump to conclusions, suggest an easy remedy, and then run from his problems. They had no interest in seeing Holden through the process of finding the help they so strongly suggested he needed. After they proposed their idea, they left Holden, not caring what happened to him. That helped Holden in no way, rather made him feel even more inferior to others. He saw that no one truly cared about his problems, nor did anyone want to help. That is the problem; society does not care about anyone except themselves. They are so busy keeping their own lives together they do not notice the outsiders whose lives are quickly falling apart. When they do acknowledge it, though, they are quick to order the failing person a simple solution and continue with their lives, but a simple solution is not what people need. Those whose lives are failing need someone who will help them, support them, and walk with them through the recovery process. Unfortunately, many do not receive
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