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What is another element of Holden's character that triggers his inability to...

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offssa | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 7, 2013 at 3:06 AM via web

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What is another element of Holden's character that triggers his inability to communicate in The Catcher in the Rye?

My thesis so far is talking about how holdens inability to communicate is the result of his fear of truth, I needed one more prong for my thesis. 

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM (Answer #1)

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Grief is an undercurrent in Holden's character. Though this grief is subtly expressed, it is a fact of his character. 

Holden's emotional and psychological state is rendered unstable after his brother Allie's death. Holden punches though a window and badly cuts his hand, beginning a chain of self-destructive behavior driven by his grief over the loss of his younger brother. 

The series of failures in school, transfers, etc., constitutes one response to Allie's death. Allie is also clearly aligned with Holden's psychological difficulties as it is Allie that Holden speaks to in moments of crisis and extreme turmoil. 

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