Holden's Seperateness in Catcher in the Rye Essay

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Holden's Seperateness in Catcher in the Rye

In ‘The Catcher In The Rye’ Salinger sets about making Holden appear separate from everyone else. He does this through a variety of methods. One of the ways in which Salinger shows this separateness is through Holden’s relationships and encounters with his family and friends.

Another method that Salinger uses is that usually whenever Holden attempts to contact someone they are either not there or don’t answer the phone, this give us the feeling that Holden is by himself, alone, separate from everyone else. Also the fact that Holden says ‘my address book only has about three people in it’ gives us again the impression that Holden is disconnected from
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However this does not stop Holden from having a very strong desire to protect the innocence of those around him, such as when he visited Phoebe’s school and tried to rub out all the profanity, and after the prostitute incident, ‘I felt like jumping out of the window. I probably would’ve done it; too, if I’d been sure somebody’d cover me up as soon as I landed. I didn’t want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me while I was all gory’. This can be interpreted as Holden still trying to protect the innocence of those around him, as even in his death he still wants to preserve the innocence of those around him, as even in death he still wishes to protect the innocence of those who would see his gory body.

Holden also believes that it is his duty to protect the innocent from what he sees as a false adult world. We see that as the Novel draws on he gradually becomes more and more intent on doing this, this becomes evident in Chapter 22, when Holden is speaking to Phoebe, ‘You know that song ‘‘If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye’’? … I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all … and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me and I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff…

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