Evidence of Suffering in 'the Catcher in the Rye'

410 Words2 Pages
Evidence of Suffering in The Catcher in the Rye In The Catcher in the Rye Holden suffers from the death of his beloved, younger brother, his self-imposed alienation because of his inability to feel comfort around people and his nervous tendencies towards sex and sexuality. In the novel, Holden frequently reflects on Allie and praises him on his intelligence, kindness and attraction from others. Holden describes Allie as the perfect child and loved by all of his teachers. Unfortunately, Allie died from leukemia when Holden was thirteen. When Allie died, Holden smashed every window in his garage; his violent action foreshadowed his later self-destructive personality. Holden has been suffering from the loneliness of his brother’s death since he was thirteen. He never confronted this pain and instead avoids it; Holden is a compulsive liar and he distances himself from people by being cynical. By distancing himself from people, Holden believes he can never feel the pain that occurs as a result of a beloved, deceased individual. While Holden uses his self-imposed alienation as a defense, he is unaware that it severely damages his well-being. He is closed off and secretive thus he is unconnected to the people around him (ex. his roommates) which is his reason for leaving his previous schools and Pencey Prep. He alienates himself to avoid relationships with people, so in the case of a death (like Allie’s death) Holden is not hurt. Although Holden thinks his self-imposed alienation is helpful, he is wrong. It causes him to be an uncomfortable, unconnected person; he constantly reflects on how lonesome he feels. Holden is uptight on the topic of sex. He admits “sex is something I really don’t understand too hot” and that he is a virgin. He believes that if you don’t not having genuine, loving feelings towards a girl, you shouldn’t have sex with her. He also
Open Document