Catcher in the Rye

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In the novels Into the Wild and The Catcher in the Rye, Chris McCandless and Holden Caulfield have a sort of shaky relationship with their parents. Both of them definitely do not have the movie type of family, not even close. The relationships between the parents and kids in both cases pushed the kids away, forcing them to find comfort with someone other than their family members. Chris feels safe with the people and families he meets on the road, and Holden finds safety in the home of Mr. Antolini. They each have their own reasons for disliking their parents, yet in each case it leads them down the wrong path, which in the end causes physical and mental harm. Holden and his parents do not hate each other, but Holden has a fear of them. When Holden gets kicked out of Pencey, the last place he wants to go is to his parent’s house. Holden knows that his parents will be furious and frustrated with the behavior of their son, and Holden just does not want to face that. His parents have high hopes for him, sending him to all sorts of expensive private school. Even after he fails out of one school because he obviously dislikes it, they send him right back to another one. In addition to his troublesome relationship with his parents, the death of Allie was no help either. It was one more thing that Holden had in common with his parents. Holden isolated himself even more when Allie died, Holden was really proud of Allie, and it really hurt him to see him go, “You’d have liked him. He was two years younger than I was, but he was about fifty times as intelligent. He was terrifically intelligent” (Salinger 38). Allie, Phoebe, and D.B. kept Holden intact with everyone else, without their support, Holden had no real connection with his parents. Since Holden is scared to face his parents with his problems, he has no one to go to with his problems. He has no idea what he wants to do with his life except for being “the catcher in the rye” but that it not a real job. He...
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