Holden Caulfield Character Analysis

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In J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, undergoes an immense psychological change where he transforms from youth to maturity. The major conflict in the novel which held Holden back from progressing into adulthood had to do with the death of his younger brother, Allie. The way Holden expresses himself and all of the decisions he has made can all be related back to that experience which he has never been able to cope with. As a result, Holden spends the majority of his time alone which only further hinders his ability to find comfort. Finally, his unprovoked animosity towards adults and extreme uncontrollable emotions are a testament to his immaturity. It is not until Holden is watching Phoebe at …show more content…

He never did find out what happened to those ducks, but he risked his life for the concept. Later on, when he would get ripped off by an elevator employee who sold him a prostitute for double the amount he thought he was to pay, he would have intense fascinations about death. He dreamt, following his actual physical fight with him in his room that only got him punched in the gut, that he would be bleeding all over the place. He would then take out his pistol, take the stairs down a few flights, press the elevator button and when his adversary popped up, beginning Holden not to take his life, Holden would shoot him several times. Finally, he would make his way back to his room where he would call up Jane who would hold a cigarette for him and tend to his wounds. Of course, none of this actually happened, and Holden only continued to become depressed. He even considered taking his own life at that moment by jumping out of his window. One time on the verge of a mental breakdown, he talked to his dead brother as he walked the streets, asking him to make it to the next sidewalk safely and thanking him when he did. His preoccupation about his brother and death in general, however, is not the only stumbling block of Holden’s immaturity. Though becoming an independent person is often correlated with adulthood, running away from your loved ones out of fear of confrontation is extremely childish. His expulsion from Pencey Prep is not his first time getting

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