Theme Of Estrangement In Catcher In The Rye

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Estrangement Many readers are able to relate to J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye making it a classic. The characters display a variety of personalities making it easy for readers to understand and follow the different dilemmas throughout the novel. However, the greatest dilemma is Holden’s downfall, not only his alienation from society but himself. He believed throughout the whole novel that he had a grasp on his life all while it continued to slip away. Holden’s estrangement following Allie’s death caused him to become dormant, abrasive to others, and cynical. At some point in life, every person will become dormant to other peoples words and actions, however in Holden’s case it became his lifestyle. As the story progresses Holden lets…show more content…
Holden was constantly wallowed in self-pity, hatred, and regrets he had no way of moving on from his past. He counted on Allie even when he was no longer there, “Allie don’t let me disappear” (Salinger). His hope would only diminish every time he would fail again or notice another flaw in the world. Even though he had several opportunities to change, his life around he treated each one the same as before, and then was disgraced when he only grew more depressed. This is one of the reasons there is so much controversy surrounding this novel on whether schools should read it, as stated by this critic, “some people complained that the novel’s language was crude and obscene” (Moss and Wilson). Holden is overly pessimistic that for many there is little inspiration in the novel. Readers do not want to act like the main character for the fact they will become alienated from society as well. “The irony, of course, is that Holden himself has already been contaminated by the world he despises” (Rholetter). Holden had so many people who wanted to watch him succeed, however he failed to notice any of them. He had animosity towards others for trying to help him yet at the same time he felt the same way towards the world when he failed once again. There is only so much a person can be helped when they are not willing to accept the help. “It made me feel sad as hell-I…show more content…
No matter how much Holden hated society for what it did to him, he was only hurting himself. When someone is struggling, he or she needs to help himself or herself before they rely on others for their happiness. Holden could not achieve this because he was so focused and determined on changing the past instead of bettering his future. The greatest consequence for this with his actions is that his future is

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