The Catcher In The Rye Holden's Journey

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In the story the Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger takes the reader on a journey through the mind of Holden Caulfield. Holden is a troubled teenager who has difficulty connecting with others. Most of the book is spent inside Holden’s mind and this allows the reader to form a deep understanding of how Holden thinks. Throughout the book the reader learns how Holden is flawed and is left to wonder how he becomes this way. Holden experienced a traumatic experience at a young age, this incident impacts his behavior for the rest of book. When Holden was thirteen years old his younger brother Allie died of Leukemia. Immediately following this event Holden “broke all of the windows in the garage” with his bare hands (44). Allie’s death scars Holden …show more content…

Holden hates small talk and rejects interaction with others. His dark view of people and the world drives him to isolation. Holden does get lonely in his isolation, but whenever he starts to form connections with people, he pulls away before he can get close. We see this when Holden leaves his school friends and also when he ruins his date with Sally by telling her “You give me a royal pain in the ass, if you want to know the truth” (148). This roots back to the death of his brother and his fear of getting close enough to someone that he is vulnerable to being hurt. Holden despises interaction so intensely that he even says “I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf mutes. That way I wouldn’t have to have any of those goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody” (218). This illustrates just how far he was willing to go to avoid interaction, because he truly thinks that it is pointless. Throughout the novel the reader is exposed to Holden’s damaged mind and personality. This is shown through his hypocrisy, and his dark and antisocial outlook on life. Holden’s troubled mind is likely due to his brothers death, as well as his inability to be optimistic or hopeful. The story of the Catcher in the Rye illustrates the dark and painful parts of life, and how damaging it is if one can not see past these to all of the greatness of the

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