Type: Critical Essays
Sample donated: Patsy Schneider
Last updated: December 25, 2019
Have you ever had any dramatic trauma in your life? Many people go through a stage at one point in their life and life then seems pointless. As people, we sometimes consider isolation to be a better option instead of human interaction because of being overwhelmed emotionally. For a number of people, comfort comes when they are distant from everyone else and are leaders of their own feelings. Meet Holden Caulfield, a 17-year-old teenage boy who has severe problems with school, relationships with others, and isolation. In the book, The Catcher in The Rye, Holden explains his past situations that have led up to where he is now. Holden’s alienation and isolation are caused because of the trauma from his past that has had a big toll on his life.
Events such as his brother Allie passing away, James Castles suicidal death, and complications with pedophile moves have all played an important role in Holden’s life.Firstly, a significant motive for Holden’s isolation is due to the death of his brother, Allie. Holden stated, “He’s dead now. He got Leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18, 1946¨ (43).
Losing a loved one can have a serious impact on someone’s life. It can also lead one to depression, death, or in Holden’s case, isolation. Allie was one of Holden’s two brothers that was two years younger than him. Holden says, ¨He was terrifically intelligent” but it wasn’t just that he was the most intelligent in the family but also, “the nicest, in many ways”. After Allie’s death, Holden became very distant and isolated, he adds, ¨I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddamn windows with my fist, just for the hell of it¨ (44). Holden ultimately feels isolated because he lives in such a confined circle with loved ones lost and emotions trapped within himSecondly, another critical cause in Holden’s disconnection was James Castles, a former classmate from Elkton Hills, suicidal death. This is first mentioned when Holden returns home and is having a conversation with Phoebe about what he has been up to recently. While having a conversation with Phoebe, she asks Holden to name one thing that he really likes.
Holden replies saying that he likes the nuns he met at the train station, talking to Phoebe, and James Castle. Holden describes James as, “a skinny little weak-looking guy, with wrists about as big as pencils” (188). Holden then recalls James calling Phil Stabile, “a very conceited guy” and some of Stabile’s friends went and told Stabile. Stabile later came back with six other friends to try to get James to take back what he said but he wouldn’t take it back. Holden later explains that James wouldn’t take it back so he jumped out the window, killing himself. Observing death with your own eyes can be a lot to take in, especially if one has lost a loved one before.