A novel in which a character is shown to be isolated is ‘Catcher in the rye ‘ by JD Salinger.The author portrays the main protagonist, Holden Caulfield, to be a troubled, confused and unreliable individual who struggles through much turmoil. This state eventually climaxes when Holden suffers a physical and emotional collapse caused by his resistance to change, the alienation he suffers and to a great extent by the isolation he experiences during the course of his transition from childhood to adulthood.
‘The Catcher in the Rye’ is the story of teenager Holden Caulfield’s turbulent last few days before his Christmas vacation. During these days, Holden leaves Pencey Prep, an all boys school he’s been expelled from, and embarks of a few lonely nights in New York City. As a result of Holden’s resistance to grow up, he isolates himself from the world around him leaving him alone and vulnerable. Following several negative encounters, Holden reaches an emotional collapse. He tells the story as a monologue from a mental facility where he has been recovering from the stress of the experiences he reflects upon.
The obvious signs that Holden is psychologically troubled are manifold : he fails in the four schools he has attended; he manifests complete apathy towards his future; he is hospitalised; he is visited by a psychoanalyst for an unspecified complaint and he is unable to connect with other people in his life. We read of two traumas in his past that clearly have something to do with his emotional state and wellbeing : the death of his brother Allie and the suicide of one of his schoolmates. Death has a deep impact on the mental stability of everyone who has experienced it but especially so on someone so young and particularly where it is the death of a close friend or relative. He is haunted by the thought of Allie in the rainy cemetery surrounded by tombstones and dead people and he associates death with the mutability of