Analysis of Chapter 20 in the Catcher of the Rye

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Analysis of Chapter 20 This chapter is mainly revolved around the unstable emotional condition of Holden. Continuously posting annoying questions about sex to Luce, Holden was left alone in the bar and got drunk by himself. Then he stumbled to phone booth and made a night call to Sally. He then tried to make a date with an attractive singer named Valencia. Aimlessly, he decided to go to the pond where he remembered Allie’s death and imagined his funeral. Finally, eager to talk to Phoebe, he risked to go home. From surface it looks like that it is just a diary of Holden’s trivial matters, even judging from the whole book. However, when dug into the spiritual world of Holden, these plots were developed with the worsening sentimental situation and complicated emotions of him. This chapter is counted into a climax and a turning point of the novel. Due to the effect of alcohol and ignorance from Sally and the bar singer, Holden made himself of a fool with collapsing sense of security. When he was in the park, he was overwhelmed by depress and miserableness. Tape, ducks and pond triggered his depressing memory of his brother Allie’s death and the fear of his own funeral, thereby revealing the root of his previous manic behavior: Holden was troubled by unexplained disappearance and he was in deep anxiousness that all the things that were related to his pure, innocent childhood would suddenly vanish. This echoes one of the themes of this novel—adolescent confusion on the way to the adult world and the pain of growing up. As what Holden did before, he alienated himself from the outside phony world so as to protect the inner fragile, confused self. He labelled people around him as phonies and morons but it never downed on him that he was also one of the phonies who would flatter someone on mouth but curse him in heart. He didn’t know what he wanted to get from the adult
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