J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye Analysis

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In J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, has difficulties coming to terms with his past, which in turn has a negative effect on all present situations. The tragedy of his brother’s death has left Holden empty. It is possible that Holden holds himself partially responsible for Allie’s death and now holds himself back from what his younger brother can no longer do such as mature, excel academically or form relationships. Because of past traumatic events, Holden forces himself into isolation out of his own fear and unknowing. A past which he has not fully come to understand or accept taints his view of the present. Holden’s immature mindset, which he demonstrates by stumbling along a thin line of sanity and collapse, makes it difficult to overcome his childhood and move on to a more adult like, mature way of dealing with hardships. The death of Holden’s beloved bother Allie has the greatest affect on his personality, and his coping skills with anything he comes into contact with. He remembers past events with his brother and can only bring himself to view Allie as an innocent child –if Allie never grew up, why should Holden? Not once can Holden bring himself to dream about what Allie may have become, he sticks to the past and only sees Allie as a beautiful, smart young brother. Holden has difficulty forming bonds with anyone his age or older, especially his roommates. While he continues to act like a child and while he cannot accept the responsibilities of adulthood, he looks down upon people and finds maturity, experience, and responsibility as faults. He can only see the faults and negative aspects of his roommate Stradlater because of his experience and maturity, two things Holden does not possess. Stradlater shows experience in his relationships. Holden, on the other hand, cannot seem to hold down a real

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