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How Does Holden Caulfield Change Throughout The Novel

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Throughout J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden can be seen carrying along with him many struggles and problems he faces on his shoulders. He is antisocial, and seems to have a strong hatred for most things and people around him for a variety of reasons. Despite the assumed comfort being alone might bring Holden because of the way he talks about his feelings towards the world around him, throughout the novel, his notable attempts to find connection and companionship appear more and more as the story progresses and as Holden gets more lost with his life. Even though Holden’s annoyance with the outside world and the people in it seems to gives an excuse for being ok when things get lonely, as his journey progresses and things go more …show more content…

The primary way this is demonstrated is through Holdens disappointing attempts to call Jane while wandering the streets at night, and giving the same lousy excuse every time: “I started toying with the idea, while I kept standing there, of giving old Jane a buzz... the only reason I didn’t do it was because I wasn’t in the mood” (82). After considering the idea, Holden is quick to shut it down with a disappointing excuse. We can see Holden say the same thing a few chapters later in the novel, shortly after buying a record for his younger sister, Phoebe. Holden says, “I thought of giving old Jane a buzz, to see if she was home yet and all, but I wasn’t in the mood” (137). This repeated action of Holden’s clearly shows his desire to connect with the people he misses and cares about the most, but it also reveals that something is restraining him from reaching out to them for companionship, as his unreliable excuses fail to shield Holden’s true feelings. Holden’s fruitless consideration and excuses plainly display his hand held out for connection, but also the fact that something is pulling him back …show more content…

Through Holden’s complicated journey of attempts to reach out to find companionship, or even just someone to talk to, someone he commonly mentions seeming to bring him a sense of comfort is his little brother, Allie, who passed away during Holden’s childhood. Allie is someone Holden deeply cares about, if not the person he cares about and loves the most. One way this is demonstrated is through a writing piece he did for a friend at his old school, Pencey, in which he described the only thing he has left of Allie: “I wrote about my brother Allie’s baseball mitt… You’d have liked him. He was two years younger than I was, but he was about 50 times more intelligent… He was also the nicest, in lots of ways” (49). This moment of recalling the moments he has with Allie, and looking back at what Allie was like was a heartfelt moment for Holden, and him choosing to write the essay about Allie’s mitt shows Holden’s connection and love for Allie and the relationship he had with him. Later on towards the end of the novel, we can see Holden frantically walking down the streets yet again, as he finds himself slowly losing touch of reality, and starting to do strange things. When this happens, Holden recognizes that his first instinct was to call for his brother to help him. Holden explains, “Then I started doing something else… I'd make believe I was

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