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Published: 03-12-2019

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Suffering, Alienation and Protagonist's Depression

Holden Caulfield, the protagonist and narrator of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, continually points out flaws in other folks but is unable to see his own. Be it optimistic or unfavorable, he loathes change. Via his general hatred of others and his inability to accept the prospect of an ever-altering planet of folks, Holden alienates himself from society and becomes an outcast. Virtually all of his discomfort and depression stems, even so, from one particular occasion that causes him distress to the point that it could almost be considered post-traumatic anxiety disorder: the death of his younger brother Allie. When one particular connects Holden’s continual pain and alienation to the death of his younger brother, the question of how Allie’s death influences Holden’s life arises. Though he never ever interacts with Holden, Allie still has the strongest influence on his life.

Holden constantly finds flaws in the people around him and complains about them, explaining in depth why each individual hides who he or she really is: “You remember I stated ahead of that Ackley was a slob in his personal habits? Effectively, so was Stradlater, but in a different way. Stradlater was more of a secret slob. He often looked all correct, Stradlater, but for instance, you should’ve observed the razor he shaved himself with. It was always rusty as hell and full of lather and hairs and crap. He never ever cleaned it or something. He usually looked very good when he was finished fixing himself up, but he was a secret slob anyway, if you knew him the way I did” (Salinger 27). Simply simply because Stradlater desires to look polished, Holden believes he is fake and hypocritical. Holden thinks of every person in this style, even so, and actively searches for faults in nearly every single other character. He appears to be unable to find a person who meets his criteria for perfection until he speaks of his younger brother Allie, who is now deceased.

Holden virtually worships Allie, thinking about him a guardian angel: “Every time I’d get to the end of a block I’d make believe I was talking to my brother Allie. I’d say to him, “Allie, don’t let me disappear. Allie, don’t let me disappear. Allie, don’t let me disappear. Please, Allie.” And then when I’d reach the other side of the street with no disappearing, I’d thank him” (198). In Holden’s eyes, Allie is the epitome of perfection due to the fact he was an innocent young particular person whose life was reduce quick before he was capable to grow to be something else. Holden’s vision of Allie will never ever change because Allie himself cannot modify. As unrealistic as it is, that is the way Holden likes folks to be. Holden thinks of Allie as a guardian angel and subconsciously uses him as a normal for morality in other individuals. For that reason, Holden can never be happy with other folks and hates the situations below which he should live his life. To him, nothing at all is as pure as Allie was, and in this way Allie is the trigger of Holden’s continual hatred of seemingly every thing.

Holden cannot accept the notion of adjust. Whenever something alterations, he right away becomes intensely frustrated with it. This theme comes up notably when he thinks about a girl he has feelings for, Jane. They knew each other when they were younger and far more innocent, but Holden finds out that she is dating Stradlater and potentially getting sex with him: “I kept thinking about Jane, and about Stradlater possessing a date with her and all. It made me so nervous I nearly went crazy. I currently told you what a sexy bastard Stradlater was” (34). Jane is one particular of the couple of people that Holden has been capable to look up to and appreciate as a person. He does not want his memory to be stained by a new image of her and Stradlater acting in more adult methods, ways that terrify Holden due to the fact he does not like anything to change or grow. He and Jane employed to play checkers, and Jane had a particular quirk of maintaining her kings in the back row. Prior to Stradlater leaves for his date with Jane, Holden tells him to “Ask her if she nevertheless keeps all her kings in the back row” (34). Holden wants to know if Jane is the same, or if she has changed into a person that he would no longer like and relate to, a thought that devastates him. To most men and women, alter is not as terrible as it is to Holden. Simply because he lost Allie, he can't accept when anything in his life is altered even slightly. Right after Allie dies of leukemia, Holden grasps for some thing else that can remind him of young innocence and the ease of childhood days. Then, he was not surrounded by phonies. He is terrified that 1 day he will be forced to adjust into an adult and live a life independently. Allie’s death leads to an epiphany: every thing in life is ephemeral and practically nothing he values will remain.Though Allie is in no way noticed as a living character, he is nevertheless the most crucial player in Holden’s life due to the fact he acts as a type of guardian angel and influential figure.

By basing every thing he does and judging absolutely everyone else on his memory of Allie, Holden sets the bar unreasonably high. No one can reside up to Allie’s standard. In reality, even so, Holden is the phoniest of all simply because he lies to himself about his extreme hatred of every little thing. Allie’s death renders Holden unable to accept that in order for the world to operate as it ought to, almost everything have to modify. Allie not only symbolizes the innocence that Holden has lost, but also serves as a reminder that Holden will 1 day drop almost everything that he loves.
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