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What does Holden mean when he says "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you...

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soccer21 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 16, 2008 at 7:51 AM via web

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What does Holden mean when he says "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody"?

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fedteach | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 16, 2008 at 9:47 AM (Answer #1)

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You start missing everybody because you are so busy trying to tell your own story you don't listen to others and their stories.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 17, 2008 at 5:59 AM (Answer #2)

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When Holden makes this statement, he means that once you get close to someone and depend on them for emotional support and you have a real connection, you can really miss that person, because they can leave you. People leave, they die, they are unreliable.

Holden technically has lost both his brothers. Allie, his younger brother died, and D.B. has left and gone to California. He feels very distant from D.B., because he thinks he is a sell-out, writing movie scripts instead of serious books. Two people Holden really needs in his life are gone.

Jane Gallagher, the girl that Holden really cares about, she seems far away to him. He misses her too, even though all he has to do is call her. He can't or he won't, and because of this inability to get close to someone, other than his sister, he suffers from isolation.

He fears sharing his feelings with anyone; he has developed a protection strategy, don't get close to anyone and you are safe. He is seriously misguided in this belief, and because of it, he has an emotional breakdown.

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lichen2347 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 24, 2012 at 5:57 AM (Answer #3)

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He fears sharing his feelings with anyone; he has developed a protection strategy, don't get close to anyone and you are safe. He is seriously misguided in this belief, and because of it, he has an emotional breakdown.

 

you're welcome

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Wiggin42 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted March 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM (Answer #5)

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This is Holden's coping strategy. This explains why he cannot have empathy for others. He is so afraid of losing people that refuses to truly make a connection with them. This is because Holden is still grieving for Allie. Its similar to how he asks the cab driver about the ducks leaving the pond. Where do they go? Where do the people who leave him go? Holden is obsessed with people leaving him all alone. That is why he said that. 

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atyourservice | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted September 27, 2014 at 2:53 PM (Answer #6)

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When Holden says "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody." He is talking about the fact that when you start opening up to people, it builds a certain connection. The more connections you build the more likely you are to miss people. He thinks it is better to not build a relationship in the first place, if all it leads to is being abandoned. This mindset helps us understand why Holden seems to act as he does. As you can see Holden always keeps from forming bonds, and often jeopardizes the relationships that are already present.

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sabonator101 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:40 PM (Answer #4)

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uhm. dunno :P

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