In chapter 5 when first learning about Allie. How is Allie's death symbolic?

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jeff-hauge eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Allie's death will always be a pivotal moment for Holden. Aside from the expected pain and trauma, Holden will nearly deify Allie in that his early death prevented him (Allie) from falling into the corrupt adult world. Holden's prayers to Allie are like the museum; an eternal, preserved, but ultimately lifeless representation of youth and innocence.

Holden's violent reaction, absence from the funeral and subsequent hospitalization clearly demonstrate the incomplete nature of his grief. Allie's baseball glove is a cherished memento and Stradlater's flippant treatment of it sparks Holden's descent.

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The Catcher in the Rye

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