Catcher In The Rye Alienation Essay, Research Paper
In the book, Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden
Caufield, the main character is a negatively charged person,
doesn’t want himself or others around him to grow up, and
suffers from depression because of his brothers death. This is
obviously Holden’s way of alienating the entire world and
delaying the consequences of facing reality. Alienation is a big
theme in Catcher In The Rye, and something that Holden
depends on most often.
Holden Caufield is a negatively charged character as
expressed on the first page of the book before Holden
tells his opinion about his childhood. He says, “If you really
want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to
know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was
like…” (Pg. 1) Holden shows here that he was negative and
depressed even in his childhood years which is mainly due to
his brother, Allie’s death. Holden’s alienation toward the world
is what causes these unwanted character traits of Holden’s.
Holden is also a hostile character who attributes his negativity
to block out others around him, and to delay the fact that he
indeed will have to face reality sometime. Holden’s pattern of
speech, the constant expression of negativity, is a character
trait Holden possesses that shows the inner pain he feels.
Holden truly shows that he does not want to grow up
and he does not want other children to grow up either. Holden
believes that all adults are phonies, like Principal Thurmer.
Holden hates phonies and that’s why he doesn’t want children
to grow up, do they won’t become phonies. Holden’s hatred
towards adults is due to his brother’s death. Holden
probably somewhat blames his parents for not stopping his
younger brother’s death. Holden alienated phonies or adults
because of this. Holden believes that he cannot depend on
adults because they are phonies like Principal Thurmer.
Holden’s inability to accept growing up causes much
depression for Holden and makes Holden suicidal. At what
time, Holden does in fact feel suicidal. “…what I really felt like,
though, was committing suicide.” This shows that Holden has
not really accepted the fact that everyone has to grow up
sometime no matter how much u don’t want to because no one
can stay a child forever.
Holden suffers from depression due to his brother, Allie’s
death. This is mainly because lack of closure of his brother’s
death. There is one moment when Holden expresses how he
talks out loud to Allie, even though he is dead. “What I did, I
started talking out loud to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get
very depressed.” This portrays sadness to the point that
Holden needs closure on his brother’s death so bad that the
lack of closure may even be leading to clinic depression or
slight insanity on top of his being suicidal. Holden probably in
some way blames himself for his brother’s death due to not
always letting Allie play with him when they were little. Holden
feels like committing suicide at one time which shows the true
depth of Holden’s depression. Holden’s deep depression
comes from his alienation towards people in general, the way
he refuses to let others deep in his heart and his inability to
accept certain things such as his brother’s death. Holden
badly needs closure on his brother’s death so he can rid
himself of his deep depression and go on to inevitably grow up
like the rest of the world.
In conclusion, Holden is a negative character, had yet to
realize that everyone has to grow up sometime, and suffers
from possible clinic depression due to lack of closure on his
brother’s death. Holden’s alienation towards the world is
clearly what brings on this rejective personality of Holden’s.
Another aspect of Holden that drives this personality of his is
his estrangement towards facing reality. This can most likely
be compared to many people in the real world which is just one
of the reasons why Catcher In The Rye, is such a wonderful
book. Until people like Holden realize that growing up is an
inevitable action in one’s life and that facing reality is a must to
survive life, then those people will be stuck in the world of
untruth where no person can be successful and where
destinies cannot be pursued until the realization that these are
just stages in life that must be completed is met.