Catcher In The Rye Connection Analysis

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Searching For Connection The Harvard educated life coach and New York Times bestselling author, Martha Beck, once said “, loneliness is proof that our innate search for connection is intact.” While written years before Beck was born, J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye reflects Beck’s message perfectly. Throughout the novel, Holden constantly faces neglect from mature individuals who are meant to guide him. He often uses skepticism and censure as a defense mechanism to protect himself from the rejection of those individuals. Salinger employs symbolism to communicate that some adolescents, who have been ignored for a significant portion of their lives, develop a cynical mentality, thus segregating themselves from connections with their…show more content…
The first thing Holden does when he steps off into New York is go into the phone booth, but he ends up “not calling anybody” and exits the booth (59). He goes down his mental list of contacts and finally after twenty minutes of contemplation, he decides not to call anyone. Multiple times through the book, Holden approaches a phone and decides not to call because the recipient is too “phony”, or he doesn’t want to talk to their parents. Because of Holden’s cynicism, he doesn’t talk to others to maintain individualism and self-security, and in turn isolates himself. Holden making a beeline towards the phone booth and not calling anyone symbolizes Holden’s yearning for friendships and his inability to create them. Luce and Holden are talking and getting drinks when Holden realizes that Luce seems very interested in others but “if you started asking him questions about himself, he got sore” (147). Luce is an example of an adult who puts himself on a pedestal and spends time with Holden out of pity. During their conversation, Holden constantly asks questions about sex and Carl’s love life. Luce answers every question very condescendingly, as if Holden is just being an annoying child. Holden asking about sex is equivalent to asking for support in his alteration to adulthood. Carl is self-absorbed and is only interested in his self-image but Holden still asks him to stay and admits he is “lonely as

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