Essay On Holden Caulfield Alienates Himself

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J.D. Salinger, the author of The Catcher in the Rye, uses the behaviour of protagonist Holden Caulfield to shape his personality in the way he alienates himself from the rest of the world. Holden alienates himself from the society he lives in, his relationships with others and also the relationship he has with himself. Holden struggles to cope with the fact that eventually he will have to grow up and so will everyone around him. Holden see’s the world not being perfect as a huge problem that he alone has to fix because everyone else is too much of a ‘phony’ to do it. The novel explores Holden’s weekend after he got kicked out of his fourth school, Pency Prep, and the struggles he faces with alienating himself.
Holden Caulfield alienates himself from the rest of society to hopefully escape the means of growing up shown by his dialogue and behaviour. Holden doesn’t want to grow up because he doesn’t want to have to accept the responsibilities that come with it. Holden is constantly getting kicked out of different schools, “They kicked me out… on account that… I was not applying myself and all.” (pg. 3) Not only was Holden not applying himself at school slowing down the process of him growing up, he also kept his mindset young by wondering where the ducks go in winter. “You know those ducks on that lagoon… do you happen to know where they go… when it gets frozen over?” (pg. 54) Holden has a close connection to the ducks as to him it is a change that isn’t permanent as they leave in the Winter and come back in the spring, he asks where they go to see if he can make this un-permanent connection to changes such as growing up in his own life. Holden would love to live in a world where everything is time is practically frozen and nothing ...

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...tionship and further shapes his character into a state of self-isolation as he will even push his closest family out of his life.
Holden Caulfield, created by J.D. Salinger in The Catcher in the Rye, uses alienation to shape his personality. Holden isolates himself from everything he possibly could to try to find his purpose in life and how he can protect childhood innocence whilst staying in the midst of childhood himself. Alienation is important in the novel as is the basis of Holden’s whole life and what moulds him to be the person he is as his life is barely influenced by the role of others. Holden has constantly pushed everyone in his life away and by the end of the novel he realises "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody." (pg. 192) This shows that he has finally un-isolated himself and is ready to grow up and face his life.
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