Theme Of Alienation In Catcher In The Rye

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Within Catcher in the Rye, without a doubt the theme of alienation is prominent throughout. The Webster dictionary defines alienation as “a withdrawing and separation of a person or persons affection from an object or position of former attachment”. This explanation helps the reader to set the scene for the novel and the isolated presence the main character Holden withholds throughout the course of the story. The negative energy Holden Caufield displays automatically at the beginning of the novel talking about his “lousy childhood”, lets the reader become aware that even as a child, Holden was depressed due to the death of Allie, his brother. This negativity the main character possesses, gives the reader a true insight into the inner pain he feels.
In one of the first scenes of J.D Salinger’s book the isolation aspect becomes evident when Holden restrains from attending the football
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He is fascinated by the animals and their lifestyle. It becomes ironic as the ducks lifestyle involves vanishing and returning after a while. This is an example of how change isn’t always permanent, and some readers may suggest that it is a lesson to aid Holden’s phobia of change. It can also be said that Holden recognises the pond itself as a metaphor for the world he describes as its “partly frozen and partly not frozen”. This is just like his idea of the transition from childhood to adulthood that he is desperately trying to avoid.
In conclusion, the theme of alienation in The Catcher in the Rye is highlighted throughout the novel and made evident through the actions and personality of the main character, Holden. The separation from his school peers, his choice of fashion, the longing but inability for companionship, the complications of maturity and the metaphorical symbolic meaning of the ducks in central park all serve as evidence for the representation of isolation within the

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