The Catcher in the Rye

Distance as a Threat to Relationships in The Catcher in the Rye 10th Grade

Humans are social creatures who build connections with others and thrive as companionship increases; however, relationships are often susceptible to failure. Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, experiences much frustration in his inability and unwillingness to form long-lasting social connections. Most of the people he comes across become “phonies” in his mind. Holden really only has true connections with his childhood neighbor Jane and his siblings DB, Phoebe, and Allie. With the exception of Phoebe, Holden’s relationships with Jane, his older brother DB, and his younger brother Allie, who passed away at a young age from leukemia, are all somehow hindered by distance. DB no longer lives with Holden and his family so they rarely see each other, especially since DB has become a successful movie writer in Hollywood. Holden’s relationship with Jane is merely composed of childhood memories which Holden holds on to. And although Holden still spiritually treasures his relationship with Allie, who has tragically passed away, Allie’s absence is a glaring relationship barrier.

Holden’s relationships with the minor characters in the novel whom he is particularly close to show that...

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