The Catcher In The Rye Analysis

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In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Mr. Antolini gives Holden Caulfield advice when he is at one of his lowest points. Already aware of Holden’s mental state and position on school, he quotes Wilhelm Stekel, a psychoanalyst, “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” (Salinger 188). Although Holden fails to grasp Mr. Antolini’s message, the quote applies directly to his life because of his relationship with death as a result of his younger brother, Allie’s, death. Mr. Antolini uses this quote specifically because he wants Holden take a step back and try to live for a noble cause instead of resorting to death. In particular, an instance of Holden’s willingness to die for a noble cause rather than living is his encounter at the Edmont Hotel with Maurice and Sunny, the prostitute who he doesn’t even have sex with. When Holden is confronted by the duo to steal five dollars from him, he speaks out and refuses to pay. His efforts were to no avail though, as he not only gets punched but also his money taken away from him. After pretending to be shot, he finally reveals what he felt like doing, which “…was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window.” (Salinger 104). Although he does not carry it out because he does not want to draw attention, the fact that he contemplates over it, shows how he is willing to die nobly instead of reporting the incident to the
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