The Theme Of Loneliness In Catcher In The Rye

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The fear of loneliness, also referred to monophobia, is found within many individuals as a result of trauma, mental illness or a specific group of people; this phobia can be very debilitating for those who have it. It’s often found in post-war veterans, unable to comprehend or rid themselves the sights they’ve seen. J.D. Salinger, the author of Catcher in the Rye, embeds his life into his cherished character, Holden Caulfield, who is evidently perceived to fear loneliness in the world he finds himself trapped in. Holden’s apparent separation from society triggers his phobia of loneliness and is issued by Salinger’s trauma in war. As Holden tries participating in society, he finds himself communicating with “phonies” or those he feels mentally …show more content…
In Vanity Fair’s article, “Holden Caufield’s War”, Salinger’s perception of war and its monstrous impact on his life ensues Holden’s more mature and outspoken detestment of society. The article states, “The experience in war gave his writing a depth and maturity to it,” (Slawenski 2). Due to the horrors and lessons war is associated with, Salinger uses what he learns and reflects his personal realizations for Holden, often projecting the isolation of war into Holden’s battle against the norms of …show more content…
In Catcher in the Rye, it is made evident that Holden takes steps to lessen his loneliness such as calling Faith Cavendish, getting drinks with the three ladies in the Lavender room, and even allows Sunny, the young prostitute, into his room. However, Holden finds himself ending the experience before it begins, ruining the chance to alleviate his feelings of seclusion. Holden ultimately chooses to endure these pits of loneliness, saving himself from feeling the utmost torture of losing someone like Allie. However, Holden knows that nothing can free him from the pain as he states, “Don’t tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody,” (Salinger 234). These words reveal that his whole life of fitting in and trying to get himself involved, he only ended up hurting himself in the end. Holden shares his story and misery to those who accompany him to bars and plays, ultimately digging himself a bigger hole and missing all those who were part of his journey. Similar in “Slight Rebellion off Madison”, Holden asks Sally to run away, once again divulging in his feelings and hatred towards society. Once learning that his dream is nothing more than an idea, he buries himself in drinks and backs down, not following through with what he plans. To coincide, “Holden Caufield’s Goddam War” states, “But no amount of

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