Who is Allie, and why is his baseball mitt so special to Holden?
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Allie is Holden's younger brother who died of leukemia. Allie's death, along with some other factors, has caused Holden to slip into his depressive state.
Holden enjoys Allie's baseball mitt because it reminds him of Allie. It's unique and reflects Allie's personality and intelligence. It has poems written all over it, because Allie would become bored playing in the out field. Jane is the only other person Holden has shown the mitt to. Holden then goes on to write Stradlater's descriptive essay about Allie's mitt.
The death of Allie has shaken Holden to his very soul. With his brother's passing, Holden loses faith in adults and in his own future. He becomes hopeless and helpless, feeling like nothing matters anymore.
Next to his red hunting hat, the baseball mitt is a source of comfort for Holden. Holding that baseball glove allows Holden to return to the field of rye where he feels that childhood still remains, where Allie is still alive and where Holden believes that his life was much easier.
Allie is Holden's younger brother. Allie's glove symbolizes love and empathy in the novel. Holden has trouble sympathizing with others and fitting in. Allie was the one person Holden could truly identify with and care for. When Allie died, Holden punched out the windows until his hand turned bloody. He can't even make a proper first because of that. Holden is still very much grieving for Allie and carries Allie's glove around as a sentimental reminder.
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