The Connections between Holden Caulfield's Problems in The Catcher in the Rye

Topics: Sibling, Parent, Novel Pages: 3 (826 words) Published: September 13, 2010
Sara Prusik
Mrs. Quick
English 11
6 November 2009
Ties to Holden’s Problems
“I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would've, too, if I'd been sure somebody'd cover me up as soon as I landed. I didn't want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory” (104). Holden is a complex character with mixed emotions about everything; many times contradicting his own thoughts and beliefs. Holden’s struggles are due to the lack of parental attention, the death of his younger brother, and his unusual relationships with other characters in the novel, “The Catcher in the Rye.”

“My parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them” (1). Struggles in Holden’s life reflect toward the lack of parental presence in his life; in the novel the parental absence takes Holden to an almost neurotic circumstance of caring. Holden proceeds to be concerned about all matters of his life, and in an unhealthy approach. During the novel Holden develops a social awkwardness as he attempts to connect with others. If Holden were to have a healthier relationship with his parents he could have a better since of a positive outlook, less fear about becoming an adult and the responsibilities that follow.

Holden’s problems are further compounded because of the loss of his beloved brother Allie, due to leukemia. The death of his younger brother is such a loss to Holden; he stops caring about himself and looses desire to move forward in his own life. As Holden becomes overwhelmed with thoughts of Allie; he feels the need to take responsibility for saving children like in Robert Burns’ poem. Holden feels accountable for Allie’s death, and wants to save children from pain and suffering like how he wanted for his brother. Mr. Stradlater assigns a simple paper describing the basics of a room or a house, but all Holden could think to write about is his fond memories of Allie’s poetic baseball glove. Holden writes in...
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