Theme Of Adulthood In Catcher In The Rye

852 Words 4 Pages
Alienation, Adulthood, Allie
The death of Holden's younger brother, Allie contributes to Holden's alienation and hesitation to enter adulthood.
Throughout the novel, Holden alienates himself in order to protect himself from the pain he felt when his younger brother, Allie died. When Allie dies, Holden immediately alienates himself from his family during the grieving period. Holden also inflicts physical pain upon himself, revealing the severity of his emotional struggle. Holden "slept in the garage the night [Allie] died" (Salinger 40). While most families would spend time together after enduring a relative's death, Holden chooses to alienate himself. In addition, Holden's actions are so extreme the night of Allie's death, that his parents
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The loss of a sibling at such a young age is undoubtedly the root of Holden's mental health issues. Holden's judgement is clouded after the loss of his brother. This causes him to distance himself and carry out actions that he would not usually perform, such as breaking the garage windows with his fists. It is clear that Holden is unable to form relationships with other, due to the loss of his brother. When Holden goes home to visit Phoebe, she asks him to "name one thing"(Salinger 182) that he likes. His answer is Allie. Phoebe insists that "if somebody's dead" (Salinger 184), they do not count. Even Phoebe, a child is able to face the reality of Allie's death. Allie tells Phoebe that "[he] knows he's dead, but you don't just stop liking them, … especially if they were a thousand times nicer than the people you know that're alive and all" (Salinger 184). Holden is unable to form close emotional friendships because he believes that no one is as good as his brother Allie. This is illustrated when Holden Even though Holden's relationship with Allie was cut short, it was meaningful to Holden. Throughout the novel, Holden displays his admiration for his younger brother. Because

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