The Role Of Isolation In Catcher In The Rye

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John Joseph Powell once wrote, “It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” This ties into the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger. This novel is set in the 1950s. Holden Caulfield, the narrator, is a teenage boy who has gone to, and been kicked out of many boarding schools. After failing 4 out of 5 classes at Pencey Prep, he was kicked out. He decides to leave the school early and travels to New York City before returning back home to his family. Holden found himself thinking of reaching out to old friends and old teachers, but would never open up to them. Emotional and physical isolation can lead one to shut out others. Emotional isolation can affect people's lives. In Holden’s case, his isolation is very premature, “I was only thirteen, and they were to have me psychoanalyzed and all because I broke all the goddamn windows with my fist...I don’t blame them...I slept in the garage…show more content…
Holden signals early on in the novel how he physically isolates himself, “Anyway, it was the Saturday of the football game...I remember around three o'clock that afternoon I was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill...You could see the whole field from there, and you could see the two teams bashing each other all over the place...practically the whole school except me was there,” (Salinger 4). While everyone is at the biggest game of the day, Holden decides to hide away on the hill. He has a matter-of-fact tone as if not to care, however, his swearing and strong diction show otherwise. When Holden references, “Standing way the hell up on top” he is showing how he is removing himself from interacting with his fellow classmates, by standing where no one is. He accepts that he is isolating himself and continues to do so throughout the
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