Catcher In The Rye: Holden Caulfield And Teenage Angst

The smallest of moments in a person’s life can have a profound impact on their lives. Holden Caulfield, the main protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger, the notorious personification teenage angst, is famous. Holden is a typical teenager, with mood swings and a lack of love for his parents. He doesn’t know what his future holds. Despite the fact that Allie died years ago, Holden has been struggling to deal with his brother’s death. Holden is unable to function because of his poor coping skills. He is still stuck in his past and frustrated that the world keeps changing and the world keeps changing. He is unable to communicate with people and often creates relationships from his head. This odd behavior often leads to frustration in his friendship with people he doesn’t like. Holden’s obsession with seemingly unimportant things is a common pattern, such as the fate of the ducks during winter and his little sister’s writing style. These tiny obsessions appear throughout the novel and demonstrate how Holden has difficulty coping with unanswered queries and changing circumstances. These obsessions are linked to the death his older brother Allie. They show how he struggles to be in a place where Allie isn’t. Holden Caulfield, who was grieving the loss of his brother Allie over a long time ago, has abnormal tendencies that help him cope with his grief.

One person can be the effect in a group that has experienced grief. This means they are the one who carries the grief for the entire group. Holden Caulfield, in The Catcher in the Rye is the one who bears the grief for his brother’s passing. Holden’s role in this story has been difficult. Although Holden’s descent has been documented before the novel even begins, you can still see signs of his decline. The effects of Holden’s demise can be seen in his relationships with people. Holden was not unable to recover from his fall. He can still function and maintain relationships with people, however poor and imaginary. Holden is inept and broken. He can’t function like a broken thing. He has odd ways of thinking and has developed bizarre habits. He has a tendency for inventing relationships when interacting with others. Holden is more inclined to “…than seek complicated judgments for different people. Instead, Holden makes hasty categorical assessments about them” (Enotes). Ackley, for example, is described by Holden as a boy who lives in a dormitory near his school. This is because he finds him disgusting and irritating. “He began speaking in a monotonous tone, and picking his pimples.” (Salinger 37). But he eventually begins to look at Ackley more positively and speaks fondly about him after many more interactions with him. “You’re like a prince, Ackley child ” (Salinger 47). Holden thinks that Ackley can read and understand his thoughts, but Ackley’s responses show otherwise. Jane, who lived next to him for the summer, was also affected. He sees her as a sad and sweet girl. He doesn’t believe she has changed much since his last time seeing her. He feels confused and betrayed when he discovers she’s going out with Stradlater, his pompous roommate. Holden seems initially indifferent to Stradlater’s feelings, but he begins to reveal his true feelings for her. Jane doesn’t realize Holden is interested in her. He pretends that he does. Jane’s new boyfriend is a blow to his romantic fantasy of them together. When he comes back from their date, he has a fight with Stradlater. “If Stradlater was your friend, you would have been worried as well” (Salinger 40). Jane is the only person Holden speaks to throughout the novel. However, he feels strangely protective and almost obsessed with her, almost believing that she is his. Holden is no longer able to function as he was after the death of his brother. Holden is also prone to becoming manic when he becomes fixated on an object or person who has negatively affected him. These obsessions, which are often small and seemingly unimportant, serve only to show how unstable Holden really is. They also reflect Allie’s childlike demeanor. Holden is asked by a New York City taxi driver where the ducks go in winter. Holden doesn’t want to stop Holden asking the question. The disappearance of the duck is symbolic of Allie’s death. He longs for the truth, and refuses to believe that Allie is dead forever. This is a sign that Holden is very close to becoming a lunatic, but he clings to life by a few threads. Jane is another obsession. Throughout the novel, he recalls random details about Jane, including her appearance and how she plays checkers. He always has her in his thoughts. Holden cannot fully leave Jane behind, and unlike the ducks he can’t. Jane made an enormous impact on him. He showed Allie his baseball glove only to her, which proved that she was very important in his heart. Holden is very fond of the glove, as Allie had written poetry all over it during his time playing baseball. Jane was a joy to Holden. “You didn’t worry, Jane …[you weren’t even worried. All you knew was that Jane was happy” (Salinger 79). It’s not the only time Holden says he is happy. Jane is a memory he tells of his time with him. He describes Jane’s down-to-earth personality and how he never worried about her. Holden can be so depressed, it is no surprise that Holden would love someone who made him smile. Unfortunately, he cannot deal with his feelings towards Jane. He obsesses over Jane and refuses to forget the times they shared. Jane isn’t Holdens only focus. Holden’s little girl Phoebe is an integral part of his daily life. He frequently refers back to her throughout the novel. His memories of Phoebe are often more bittersweet than Jane’s. This is because he is disturbed by his sister’s constant growth and change. She is affectionate. She is very affectionate. Jane and Phoebe can help him relax. Holden makes a lot of tears when Phoebe visits him at Pensfield Prep. Phoebe loves her brother, but not Jane. She is very fondly in love with him and would do anything for him to be happy. She even attempts to accompany him as he leaves the city near the end. Holden is just as fond of her, and he proves it by the sentimental stories he tells readers. They are like Jane’s memories. One of these is her writing style. He is able to recall every misspelling and character she used, so it’s a shame he doesn’t get to see her. Another thing that makes her act is how she behaves. “She knows all the lines to The 39 Steps by heart. She’s seen it ten times.” (Salinger 67). He said that she did the things that “kill him”, or made him feel depressed. Holden also has a fixation on Allie, his brother. Holden is a master at bringing up characters throughout the book. Allie was the one who had the greatest influence on Holden. When Allie dies, Holden is forever changed. This hurt changes Holden. He has difficulty relating to others and relationships as he misses Allie, his brother and their childhood.

Holden Caulfield, a troubled soul with a broken spirit and a confused mind, is Holden Caulfield. Holden isn’t sure of who or what he is. He wants everything to remain the exact same. Holden is unable to function well after the death of his younger brother. He refuses change and is unable to live within the normal. He is unable to interact with others and has a tendency to create relationships in his head. He is often seen in the novel as having a bad habit that makes communicating with others difficult. He often has half of the conversation inside his head. Holden can also obsess about seemingly small details in his daily life. He is stubborn about accepting change and holds on to the things that will be untouched by time. Sometimes his obsession is very brief, such as when he wonders what the ducks do in winter. The obsession may reappear several times in the book. These obsessions usually revolve around his important people, Allie his brother, Jane his girlfriend. All of the above actions prove that Holden was driven to his death by Allie.


  • seanevans

    Sean Evans is a 29-year-old school teacher and blogger who resides in Utah. Sean is an advocate for education and believes that every child has the right to a quality education. In addition to teaching, Sean also enjoys writing and has a blog where he discusses various topics related to education. Sean is an active member of the community and is always looking for ways to help others.