Rest Assure This May Get a Little Obscure

June 7, 2010
At first when I began reading Catcher in the Rye, I didn’t think I would take much pleasure in it. Holden right away came off to me as an irritating, immature teenager who always had to rant about how the world and the people were all phony. I couldn’t take interest in him if his only view point on people were that they were morons and phonies. However, as the story progressed I was given insight to Holden’s past and the true pain he was suffering. During which, I developed a lot of compassion for Holden. I find him as someone who has lost hope in the world and he feels displaced from the people. Although it is not that he is displaced but he displaces himself from everyone to avoid any loss of love. I can’t relate exactly to what he goes through but I can understand the general concept. The fact here is that, he hurts himself even more by not allowing himself to love.

Throughout the novel, J.D Salinger builds the struggles of loneliness in Holden’s life. His isolation creates a burden towards all of his relationships. He can’t make sense of the people as they can’t make sense of him. Yet, Holden can’t help but want to take pleasure of company. So he talks with strangers or he catches up with some old acquaintances, but somehow the encounters always end with Holden alone again. For an example, when he asks Sally to runaway with him, she is shocked and believes it is a reckless idea. He then says, “What’s the matter? Don’t you want to go with me? Say so, if you don’t (ch.17).” It seems as if when he asked Sally to runaway with him, he wanted her to say no, he wanted her to leave him. Whenever he is close to bonding with someone, he unintentionally pushes people away by saying something hurtful or idiotic so it will never come to the point where he gets too attached. Even when there is someone who shows him a little love, he fails to accept it. Like Mr. Antolini, who provides some kind of affection towards him, Holden quickly manipulates the matter into something “perverty.” Sure maybe Mr. Antolini was coming on to him but Holden was waiting for an excuse to push him away like the rest.
Ever since Holden lost his brother through cancer, he built this rage inside him towards the world. He didn’t understand how the world can let someone, who is as good as Allie to die. In the text he says, “Just because somebody’s dead, you don’t just stop liking them, for god sake-especially if they were about a thousand times nicer than the people you know that’re alive and all (ch.22).” This quote referencing to his anger due to the fact his brother is missing in his life, which has made him very isolated with his perception that no one can really recognize. His perception is life sucks because you get older and it’s a time where you build a view of how the world really is, with no sugar coat just as it is raw. But as he undergoes losing Allie, he in his way matures and finds that the world can be cruel towards you. He blames the world and the people for all that have happened to him that made him so bitter and lost. Sometimes it is easier to blame than to accept things are the way they are.
Holden continues to preserve an innocent image of those he cares for. Such as, Allie, Holden will always remember him from the past as innocent before he died. Jane is another person he holds close to his heart. He still remembers her as the girl he played checkers with. But when Holden says, “Every time I got to the part about her out with Stradlater later in that damn Ed Banky’s car, it almost drove me crazy (ch.11).” This thought shows Holden’s anger of when he finds out Stradlater went out with Jane. Revealing that her innocence is deteriorated because he knows what Stradlater does with his dates. Holden’s sister, Phoebe who he loves as she is so young and chaste. Another thing to take in account is that Holden has come to realize that once someone loses their innocence, he lose them as well. Like with Allie, cancer took his innocence and his life, and with Jane, Stradlater took her innocence and Holden’s chance being with her. Luckily for Holden, he believes he has Phoebe as she has her innocence.
With Allie’s death, Holden lost faith in love. He realizes that love isn’t enough to prevent from losing someone you really care about. He becomes scared of getting to close to someone because they will soon not be there for him. The last couple sentences of the book, Holden says, “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody (ch.26).” Losing Allie has created a great amount of pain to Holden, which he feels the need to be numb of love. After numbing himself he feels the need to put himself in situations of violence to feel somewhat alive and existing. When it comes to physical pain, he can’t help but feel numb due to the greater pain he suffered through Allie’s death. Whenever Holden gets into violence he attempts to take it to another level where he tests if anything can create greater pain than his loss.
Holden’s story comes down to nothing hurts more than losing someone you love. Allie is like one of his own personal stars in his life. Though he is his younger brother, he looks up to him as someone he wishes he could be. When he talks about him, Holden feels better about himself in a way. But when he loses him to cancer, it is like he is left with this black hole in his soul. He cannot seem to find light in anything because he is so sucked into what he lost. The truth is maybe I can relate to that, not on losing someone but not finding light in anything especially myself. I find so much disappointment in what I have done and I can’t forgive myself. Like Holden it seems like he can’t forgive himself for not protecting Allie, he holds himself account for his death just as much he holds the world for it as well. He talks about wanting to be a catcher in rye for kids and all but he really wishes he could’ve been there for his brother. I find that extremely significant to where he acts like he doesn’t care about anything, when really he cares a lot.

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