Salinger's Purposes for Allie, Phoebe, and Jane Gallagher (Catcher in the Rye

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J.D. Salinger made Catcher in the Rye a contentious book in the fact that the reasons for having Holden use these characters to be true, able to be false. Holden could be using these characters as cushions to make his story sound more true, and harder to depict the reason for the characters being in the book. It is unsure why Holden even mentions these characters. Maybe he uses them because like he said in the book, he is a compulsive liar and is just making them up, or the characters are the most important ones to him in the book.

Allie was a character he spoke about with such a diffident manner, almost as if he was tormented by the sound of his name. Allie was Holden’s younger brother who died of leukemia. As Allie was brought up it seems to be some of his depression was caused by his death. Holden seemed to love Allie deeply and cannot seem to get through his brothers death. Almost as if its killing him inside as well. Holden carries around Allies glove as his souvenir for remembrance. “But it wasn’t just that he was the most intelligent member in the family. He was also the nicest in lots of ways.” (Salinger 38). He just went on and on about how much good Allie did and how many smiles he put on peoples faces. He couldn’t get over how many people liked him, and to see him go be such a devastation, it caused him to anger out, and get more depressed. Phoebe on the other hand is Holden’s sister, who is very much alive. She is six years younger than Holden, and sometimes acts more maturely than he does. She’s not afraid to point it out either. She thinks that Holden is to hard on himself, and can be “his own worst enemy”. Meaning he hates himself, and hates what he’s doing, but doesn’t quite know it yet. Phoebe looks up to Holden, and Holden loves his little sister. He includes her for the reason that she’s another main family member who he loves deeply like he did Allie, and doesn’t want to lose her too. I think Holden keeps a sharp eye out for her cause...
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