Holden Caulfield experiences flashbacks to the traumatic events that have occurred in his life. Holden is constantly reminded of his younger brother Allie who passed away when he was 11 years old. “So what I did, I wrote about… did, and he had very red hair,” (Salinger 38). The reader can see that Holden is constantly thinking of Allie, and that Allie was one of the people in Holden’s life that made him happy. Holden’s ability to remember the vivid details of Allie and his life prove that these traumatic events, occurring upon those who brought him joy, will always be with him. Not only does Allie pass away, but Holden’s close friend, James Castle, jumped out of the window and committed suicide. “Finally, what he did… didn’t even go to jail,”
Allie’s death impacted Holden greatly. Holden did not know how to deal with his death and expressed it through wanting to harm himself. He did this to escape the pain he was feeling inside. Holden said that Allie was the most amazing, kindest, and happiest person. Because Allie died so young, Holden felt that his innocence was taken away from him. This was the “trigger” to many of Holden's actions. For example, Holden made it look like he could deal with the pain he had inside himself. It caused Holden to do something that he was strongly opposed, like he was trying to escape from the reality. This was all caused by the impact Allie’s death had on
In The Catcher in the Rye, it is observed that the novel is about grief. There are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and finally acceptance. The Catcher in the Rye shows how Holden goes through the grieving process. By the end of the novel it shows how Holden has reached closure or a way to let go.
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help develop and inform the text 's major themes. One of the recurring themes in the novel The Catcher in the Rye is the pervasive theme of death. It could be argued that the novel is not only full of references to death in the literal sense, physical disappearance, but also in the metaphorical, taking the form of spiritual disappearance, something which Holden often focuses on, along with the actual theme of mortality. It is possible that this occurs because of his reluctance to interact with the living world. As his means of escaping from the reality he despises, his mundane thoughts and the “phoniness” that he is surrounded by. Holden becomes increasingly attracted to the idea and comes close to obsession, as his mind is flooded with thoughts of death and disappearance, as well as questions which are revealed throughout the novel.
Another allusion to death is Holden’s frequent thoughts about the ducks in central park. He wants to know what happens to them during winter, asking the cab drivers in chapters 9 and 12. When Holden locates the lagoon and realizes that the ducks aren’t there, he starts thinking about suicide. By the end of the novel the ducks serve
After talking about his childhood memories with his brother he states, ¨He is dead now. He got leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18, 1946. You´d have like him.¨ Then after talking about Allie’s old baseball mitt he said, ¨I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it¨(43-44). Allie’s death is used to show the unexpected change that Holden had experienced during his life. Allie was only eleven when he died, and Holden was thirteen. People do not expect the death of a loved one to occur at such a young age, and so abruptly like Allie 's death. The smashing of the windows shows the huge impact that he had on Holden, and how upset he was that he no longer had his brother by his side. Holden was uncertain in how to deal with this upsetting change in his life, resulted in aggressive behavior. Holden was also exposed to another traumatic event in his life during his time at Pencey. After being introduced to one of Holden 's classmates Castle he states, ¨Finally, what he did, instead of
There is one experience in life that everyone can relate to. Whether it was pleasurable or not, no one can deny the fact that they have not been through it. This experience is that of growing up and change, a time in all of our lives where it is such a complicated yet natural process that kids just ‘go with it’. In the novel, Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield suffers from the same complexity in his life. Holden is struck with events throughout the book questioning his maturity and emotions. He is unable to analyze what maturity really is because he does not want to grow up. The first stage of the motif Growing Up/Change is seen when Holden constantly thinks about his peers and siblings and how he would like to protect them. The final stage of this motif shows Holden wanting to protect kids from the vulgar world. However, he is struggling because he would prefer to stay innocent,
The novel Catcher in the Rye exemplifies the motif of depression through the eyes of the main character, Holden Caulfield. Holden constantly struggles with depression throughout the novel. His depression is directly linked with the death of his younger brother Allie as, the loss of a loved one has that effect on many. The conformity of the society that Holden lives in allows for no grief causing Holden to spiral downwards into a state of depression. Holden’s desire for individualism coupled with the loss of the only true individual he knew created a breach of loneliness in Holden's life that was unable to be filled. Overall, chapter 20 best displays Holden’s struggle with depression as his thoughts of his own death, funeral, and afterlife become more frequent.
Allie’s death causes Holden to become obsessed with death and this obsession makes him believe that growing up and becoming a “phonie” is like dying; this belief that is planted inside Holden’s head when Allie died is what sends him on a quest to preserve children’s innocence and save them from the “death” of growing up.
Pre and Post Mental Illness: Compare and Contrast The Catcher In The Rye and Silver Linings Playbook
J.D Salinger, in the novel The Catcher in the Rye demonstrates how Holden is affected by the tragic death of his brother Allie. Allie’s death is the root of Holden’s depression and negative choices.
The death of Holden 's younger brother Allie has caused him to confuse his perception of reality and to alienate himself. Throughout the novel, the topic of death is reoccurring in Holden 's mind. Whether he 's in school, doing homework, or aimlessly walking around New York City, Allie 's presence or lack thereof is always looming. It escalates to the point that Holden is always thinking about his own death, but more more specifically he 's fear of being forgotten: "Every time I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddamn curb, I had this feeling that I 'd never get to the other side of the street. I thought I 'd just go down, down, down and nobody 'd ever see me again. Boy did it scare me"(256). Allies reoccurring presence in Holden 's life causes him to obsess about the unknown future. Since Allie was on of the only people holden was able to relate to, his death took a
Allie’s death was one of the most fundamental changes that happened in Holden’s life so far. At points in the story, Holden can’t stop thinking about death. This leads him to think about Allie’s death. “In Chapter 20, Holden, at his most depressed moment, is walking at night in Central Park. His hair is wet and he feels ice particales
The Catcher and the Rye a novel by J.D Salinger exposes the reader to the recurring theme of Holden refusing to let go of his childhood. After the death of his younger brother Allie, Holden refuses to let go of his memory and continues to act as a child. This idea is first really developed when Holden asks his taxi driver about the Central Park ducks. This is not the first time that Holden has been interested in the Central Park ducks. The driver Horwitz explains that the ducks can fly away, but it really it is the fish that Holden should be thinking about. The fish are representative of children and the ducks are representative of adults with the pond being the parental figure that raised the child. The reason that Holden is so curious about
Holden is now lost in his own fantasy world not wanting to grow up from his childhood life, due to the tragedy of Allies death. Freud’s theory would examine the depth of the unconscious state and its primary root source attached to incomprehensible pain by noting, “the preconscious state holds information we’ve stored from past experience...This information can be retrieved from memory and brought into awareness at any time” (Freud 469). Because Holden never stops thinking of his brother he is trapped in his own world and can’t find an escape to his mood disorder of depression and his emotion of tribulant grief. However, Holden acknowledges that he is lost, “they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all…I don’t blame them” (Salinger 38). Moreover, Holden neglects to grow up. Salinger attributes Holden’s words by implying,‘Oh, I feel some concern for my future, all right. Sure. Sure, I do.’ I thought about it for a minute. ‘But not too much, I guess’ (14). Holden didn’t want to grow up from his childhood years or even think of the future. He wants to remain in his childhood years, when everything was full of life and vivid happiness. Holden’s actions are also childlike, which makes his character unreliable at times, but it irritates Holden when people don’t take him seriously or simply notice that when he tries to change his behavior. For instance, Salinger mentions, “I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older than I am-I really do-but people never notice it. People never notice anything” (9). Salinger adds how people ‘never notice anything’ to Holden’s feelings because Holden is a boy, whom his parents don’t take care of, which sparks Holden’s feelings of no one even caring and noticing him. As identified in the beginning of the Novel Stradlater opens Holden’s feelings with dialogue which reveals “my parents were occupied and all that crap…” (1). Holden’s family wasn’t really there for him, when he need their advice or