Holden Caulfield Character In Catcher In The Rye

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Holden Caulfield has often been depicted as rebel against the norms of 1950s American society by the readers of The Catcher in the Rye because of his desire to escape society and by rejecting the ideal of the American dream that societal institutions attempt to instill within him. However, throughout J. D. Salinger 's novel, the 16 year old’s anguish and actions reflect that he is still coming to terms with the death of his younger brother, Allie. Due to his grief, Holden is someone who cares more about assisting and protecting children and because of this, resists considering his own place within society and the process of becoming an adult. Through Holden’s recollections of his deceased brother, his interactions with children, and how he changes when interacting with his younger sister, it is evident that Holden wrestles with the expectations placed on him to grow up because he wishes to retain and preserve childhood innocence within others to cope with his grief.
Holden, who has been consistently disdainful of the ‘phonies’ in his family like D.B. and those he interacts at Pencey Prep at the beginning of the novel, shows rare pathos in the way he describes the personality of his younger brother: Allie Caulfield. He genuinely believes that Allie was, “the most intelligent member in the family. He was also the nicest, in lots of ways” (p. 38) which is high praise from a teenager who often refers to people as ‘crumby’. Allie, persevered in the past with the nostalgia and
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