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What are some examples of Holden's internal and external conflicts in The Catcher in...

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ack7194 | eNoter

Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:51 AM via web

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What are some examples of Holden's internal and external conflicts in The Catcher in the Rye?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:06 AM (Answer #1)

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Holden's major internal conflict revolves around his inability to deal with the death of his younger brother Allie.  Holden looked up to Allie's good nature, and when he died, Holden was sorry that his parents lost their better son.  Holden's parents never got him any counseling or professional help, so Holden's feelings of loss and inadequacy eat at him from the inside.  Because he is dealing with this internal conflict, Holden lashes out at others causing external conflicts.  For example, Holden gets into a fight with Stradlater because Stradlater does not respect Holden's memories of Allie which Holden wrote about in the essay.  Holden does not try to understand anyone else, and this causes external conflicts in his life.

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