Holden's Loss In Catcher In The Rye

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Growing up and dealing with the stresses of entering the adult world could be the hardest past of one’s life, especially without the right guidance. In The Catcher in the Rye, author J. D. Salinger shows how Holden struggles during this time. On top of his brother Allie’s death, Holden’s inability to fit in causes him to unravel throughout the book as the novel progresses. As Holden narrates his point of view, we could truly understand why Holden’s mental state worsens. Throughout the novel, Holden has moments that lead to his inevitable breakdown because of his different struggles with Phoebe, and his inability to get along with others. Three moments that further unravel Holden are when Allie dies, when Holden leaves Pencey, and when his sister …show more content…

Allie’s death had a huge impact on Holden’s mental health, as he and Allie were really close brothers. If Allie never dies, Holden might not have been in such a bad mental state throughout the book. On the night Allie dies of Leukemia, Holden sleeps in the garage and breaks all the windows “just for the hell of it.” (Chapter 5) Holden further adds, “I even tried to break all the windows on the station wagon we had that summer.” (Chapter 5) We learn later in the novel that Holden was sent to the hospital with permanent hand injuries. Allie’s death was clearly a very traumatic experience in Holden’s life and plays a significant role in why Holden cannot connect with other people. After his death, Holden compares everyone he sees with Allie and rejects people who he believes to have lost their innocence. Everyone that isn’t up to his standard are “phonies.” Even towards the end of the book, Holden could not get closure with his brother’s death and is constantly reminded of his dead brother whenever he is feeling …show more content…

When Holden sees his sister coming to him with her bags packed, he almost faints. This forces Holden to finally see how his plans are affecting those he cares about. Holden harshly asks Phoebe, “‘ I thought you were supposed to be in a play at school and all. I thought you were supposed to be Benedict Arnold…’” The quote shows Holden realizing how much Phoebe will sacrifice in order to go with him. Although Holden shows maturity when he agrees to back off from his plans, it devastates Holden, knowing he cannot run away from his problems anymore. He realizes he has no choice but to stay in a world where he doesn’t

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