Discuss how Holden's alienation is both the source of his strength and the source of his problems
Holden’s alienation was both the source of his strength and the source of his problems. Throughout the novel, Holden goes through a series of events where he shows strength and weakness based on the way he alienates himself. His strength of alienating himself would be his way of self protection. His weakness would be how de does not know how to confront change, confusion or conflict which causes him to run away from his problems.
His strength on alienating himself would be his way of self protection. The way he doesn’t get to close helps him refrain from getting hurt. When Sally leaves him after the date he doesn’t seem to be too upset about it. He let it go pretty fast. He feels that he is too good for the society that he lives in. He feels he is unique which is why he buys the hunting hat. By putting on the hat, he feels a sense of uniqueness as if he is different from all of the phonies he is surrounded by. This causes him to alienate himself and fantasize about this “perfect world” he had his mind set to. By making himself an outcast, he is able to observe the world around him. In his eyes everyone is a phony. This assumption makes him feel “heroic” and different like the way Phoebe sees him or how Mr. Antolini gives him advice and how that makes him feel a sense of bravery and uniqueness in himself.
His weaknesses are presented greatly in the novel. I believe that the reason he alienated himself is to not get hurt, be in a conflict, go through change or have the pain of losing someone. In the novel he talks about losing his brother and I think that is what triggered him to stay in a “safe distance” from the people around him. Also, before his date with Sally he decided to take a walk throughout the Natural History Museum. He described how he liked how everything stayed the same. This shows how he does not know how to deal with conflict, confusion, and...