How Does Holden Caulfield Influence The Catcher In The Rye

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Have you ever wondered why the protagonist in a work of literature acts as he/she does? Have you ever wondered what the prime influence in his/her actions, values, and attitudes was? Well, in many cases, namely Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist endures significant influence, both negative and positive, from past events that are often traumatic and serve as guides for the character in present instances. This trend can be found in many other works of literature such as Number the Stars by Lois Lowry in which the abuse of the protagonist’s Jewish neighbor leads to her taking a much more sensitive approach in her present life. Holden Caulfield repeatedly displays this pattern in Catcher when he commits actions, and puts forth his values and attitudes based off of a variety of prior events in his life including the death of his younger brother Allie, the departure of his older brother D.B., and a very possible sexual…show more content…
Whether it is his brother D.B. leaving him in a time where he was needed most, his younger brother Allie dying, or an older man possibly harassing Holden possibly copious times during his childhood, Holden is inevitably bound to succumb to these events and their impact on all dimensions and components of his life just like all humans. This concept does not just apply to this book; it applies to life in general. This is a world where the past shapes everything that everyone does; where people must learn from their mistakes, and this applies to all aspects of life, whether it is a government choosing to not enforce racial barriers after a brutal civil war, a college student remembering to save his/her essay after losing all of his/her information in a previous report, or a fictional human being, like Holden Caulfield carrying the lessons and effects of everything in his
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