Isolation is a state of being that can affect many people in various ways. To many, isolation is the physical separation from one thing to another but that is not all there is to it. One aspect of isolation that can lead to different forms that ultimately leaves one thinking of the chain reaction that occurs. In the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the theme of isolation is exemplified through Holden Caulfield’s relationship with others, distance from reality, and his own identity. Throughout the novel, Holden experiences isolation in various ways. One of the main ways in which he experiences isolation is from others and society. Holden constantly separates himself from others in order to protect himself from their phony ways. Holden isolates himself from society in different ways such as by sitting alone at a hill rather than with the others during the football game. He makes up excuses such as he “just got back from New York” or he “was on [his] way to say good-by to old Spenser, [his] history teacher” in order to justify why he is not sitting with the people (Salinger 3). He isolates himself from people because he thinks that they are “phonies” and they say things that they really do not mean. By thinking that way about people, it gives him an excuse to not deal with them nor have to interact with them. Holden’s thoughts about people’s “phony” ways cause him to isolate himself from them. When one isolates themselves from society, he or she begins to live in a fantasy world and is unable to move on from situations that occurred in the past. In Holden’s case, he fantasizes about situations that would not happen such as imagining that he “was the only guy at the bar with a bullet in [his] guts... [he] didn’t wasn’t anybody to know [he] was even wounded or concealing the fact that [he] was wounded” (Salinger 150). Holden does this in order to cope with the fact that he has isolated himself from the real world and there is no one to share his presence....
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