Catcher in the Rye Essay

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In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield is a thoughtful young man, who happens to also be very angry. As a result of his anger, Holden purposely isolates him from his surroundings, leaving a feeling of depression and arrogance. This arrogance can be seen throughout the book, when Holden generalizes certain people as “phony”, and labels himself as the only “real” person in this world. Later in the book, you learn that Holden’s younger brother Allie has died due to complications of leukemia, and it is inferred that Holden has not moved on, causing his anger. To subdue his anger, he turns to alcohol and often relies on it throughout the novel to relieve his stress and problems. His alcohol use goes hand in hand with Holden’s next problem; instead of dealing directly with his problems, he chooses to run away from them, hoping they will solve themselves. In order to succeed in school, and even life, Holden must learn to cope with his deceased brother, stop drinking, and learn to deal with his problems. As the novel progresses, Holden gives the reader small details about Allie, his dead brother. Slight details were given to us as throughout the day when Holden thinks of him. Holden constantly shows us how much he admired him, and even mentioned that when he heard the news that Allie died he “Broke all the God-damned windows with my fist, just for the hell of it”(39). Unfortunately, he was admitted in the hospital soon after, causing him to miss his own brother’s funeral. Without it, Holden was not able to get the closure that he needed, and the memory of Allie’s death still haunts him. He often finds himself “talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. [He does] that sometimes when [he] gets very depressed” (98). Holden’s act of talking out loud to Allie proves to us that he has not learned to cope with his brother’s death, and his feelings

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