The Catcher in the Rye

The Root of Holden Caulfield's Suffering 11th Grade

Holden Caulfield, the protagonist and narrator of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, constantly points out flaws in other people but is unable to see his own. Be it positive or negative, he loathes change. Through his general hatred of others and his inability to accept the prospect of an ever-changing world of people, Holden alienates himself from society and becomes an outcast. Almost all of his pain and depression stems, however, from one specific event that causes him distress to the point that it could almost be considered post-traumatic stress disorder: the death of his younger brother Allie. When one connects Holden’s constant pain and alienation to the death of his younger brother, the question of how Allie’s death influences Holden’s life arises. Although he never 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 person hides who he or she truly is: "You remember I said before that Ackley was a slob in his personal habits? Well, so was Stradlater, but in a different way. Stradlater was more of a secret slob. He always looked all right, Stradlater, but for instance, you should've...

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