In Holden to communicate, it restricts him hence isolation

            In todays society, there are nearly 350 million people
who suffer from depression and nearly 800 million people worldwide World
Health Organization that die through suicide every year. On the New York Times
best seller list, the novel, “Catcher in
The Rye,” written by Jerome David Salinger, in which depicts a teenage
boy’s endeavor perfectly from childhood to adulthood. Throughout the novel,
J.D. Salinger who, “thought to be the
most important American writer to emerge since World War II,” New York
Times develops a character who seems to always be questioning the idea of
life. J.D. Salinger creates an existentialist, Holden Caufield, who advocates
the philosophy of existentialism which explores and emphasizes the idea of the
existence of an individual. Holden Caufield develops a certain ideology and
individuality that, from his perspective, isolates himself from an entire
society of “phonies.” With such morals and beliefs, Holden Caufield begins the
novel alone and isolated away from society. The main character evidently seems
to be constantly having trouble coping and mourning with the death of his
brother Allie and others around. Holden Caufield’s isolation has pushed him from
society by his attempt and failure to connect with others while mourning of his
brother’s death and using isolation as protection which alienates him from civilization.

Holden Caufield’s desire to make relationships and connections exhibits that he’s
desperate to rejoin society. To Holden, he views the people within the society and
people around him as being “phony.” In other words, Holden’s perception of
people is that no one acts genuine to how they truly feel. Not only does this
ideology of people make it tough for Holden to communicate, it restricts him
hence isolation from civilization. Moreover, Holden has trouble interacting
with those around him with in turn separates him from society. For example,
within the first chapter, we see Holden looking atop Thomsen hill overviewing the
Football game, where Pency Prep plays its annual football game, Holden says, “Anyway,
it was the Saturday of the football game … I remember around three o’clock that
afternoon I was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill.” (Salinger,
4). The reason that Holden is not at the game that but rather watching far and
apart from the crowd because he has forgotten his fencing teams’ equipment on
the subway which forced the entire team to forfeit and to return early.
Furthermore, Holden had an important role, although, the team blames Holden and
completely “ostracized,” (Salinger, 6) him. Holden tries to not completely have
the blame on him by saying, “It wasn’t all my fault,” (Salinger, 5). Weir and
Kristen’s research with Current Health states, “Loneliness can lead to low
self-esteem, depression, and substance abuse,” which relates to Holden because
Holden’s self-esteem was killed due to the team ostracizing him. Holden
attempts to connect with those around him although a significant mistake hurts
his chances of creating a relationship. Cleary, Holden wants to be apart of a
group but is alienated and isolated for his mistakes. Furthermore, the same
happens to Holden when he tries to make a relationship with Sally. Holden asks
to run away with Sally, but she denies which depresses Holden. Holden was
desperate to make a relationship, “Wuddaya say? C’mon!,” (Salinger, 147), but
his own beliefs that everyone is a phony, in this case with Sally, olextremely
depressed him which made Holden question the idea.  He is in a cycle of isolation where everyone is
a phony and therefore he is unable to make relationships. Although he wants to
be with society, civilization bashes him for his mistakes which in turn creates

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            Death surrounding Holden has taken a major toll which
further isolates him from society. Mental Health Centre states that when one
loses a family member, they naturally would react with grief with relation to
shock, denial, guilt, sadness, anger, isolation, and more. In relation to
Holden, he loses his brother Allie to leukemia when he was just 11 years old as
well D.B. when his brother decided to sell out and write for Hollywood, “being
a prostitute,” (Salinger, 1). To Holden, Allie was everything to him and when
Allie died, Holden reacted violently, distraught of his loss and broke his hand
punching the glass of his garage windows. For example, at the very last page in
the book Holden mentions, “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you
start missing everybody.” (Salinger, 234). When Holden mentions this quote, he
is trying illustrate the theory that once you get immediate and close with
someone, you begin to depend on the person for emotional consolation or
support. Although, he acknowledges that you should never “tell anybody anything”
because once you build that connection, you heavily rely on that person, they
leave, they die and soon enough become unreliable. To Holden, his brothers were
people who served as a contrast to the “phony” world that he lives in. They
were people in which Holden able to talk to. Now, he believes that on can be
trusted and restricts him from communicating with people. Furthermore, the
death of James Castle, takes a massive toll on Holden who was tied with James.
The Mental Health Center states that, “Grief that consumes you after you lose
someone to suicide is overwhelming. It can feel like you have fallen into a
deep hole,” is exactly what Holden feels when having a front row seat of James
Castles suicide. Furthermore, he feels isolated because it would be tough to
discuss what happened therefore he isolates himself to hide the loss Holden has
experienced. Holden is in an inevitable cycle of isolation where he can not get
intimate with society which in turn isolates Holden.

            Holden Caufield’s philosophy of isolation and alienation
directly and indirectly provides a sense of protection from society. Being
isolated within a society is not always necessary the worst situation that
someone can be in. This is related to Holden as he uses the idea of isolation as
form of protection. First and foremost, Holden uses isolation as he believes
that the vast majority of society is fake and that he is the only genuine one.
The symbol of self-protection to Holden from society is his red hunting hat.
The red hunting hat symbolizes a separation, a sign of independence and
isolation from the world as well the purpose behind his red hunting hat is to
symbolize his individuality and uniqueness. Holden decides to wear his red
hunting hat while Ackley is in his room trying to start a conversation just
before he begins to write Stradlaters composition. Holden says, “It was only
about quarter to nine … put on my pajamas and bathrobe and my old hunting hat,”
(Salinger, 43) he puts on his hunting hat which symbolizes as a barrier between
Holden and Ackley. The hunting hat which represents his isolation from people,
aids Holden which provides self-protection. On another occasion, he uses the
red hunting to protect himself from facing his failures when he has packed up
and was ready to run away from Pencey, “I put my red hunting hat on … yelled at
the top of my goddam voice, “Sleep Tight, ya morons!” which shows that he is
giving up yet again on another school. The hunting hat for Holden, protects him
from facing the idea that he has failed yet again. Moreover, the hunting hat
provides self-protection from people. Furthermore, Holden uses isolation
indirectly which benefits him. Christy Birmingham in her research states from
HubPages, “Isolation forces a slowdown of activity while at the same time
prompts you to step into the driver’s seat,” which relates to Holden as he
isolates himself to protect him from flashbacks of his memories in which were
too painful for him to go through. For example, when Holden was thirteen, he
wasn’t able to attend Allie’s funeral because he broke his hand and was
hospitalized. Isolation helps rejuvenate his mind and allows his to forget
about painful moments. Isolation provides Holden with self-protection from
society and his failures.

            Holden Caulfield’s ability to fit within societies standard
is not possible which alienates him because of his inability to develop relationships
with his surroundings, the deaths of significant people in his life and the ability
to turn isolation into self-protection.