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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Before the inevitable confrontation with his parents, Holden makes an impulsive decision to spend a few days in New York City. Holden is a young man who is unable to grow up and move on largely partially as a result of the death of Allie,his younger brother. The weekend in New York is a plays a pivotal role in deciding whether Holden will move on or stay emotionally crippled.As he goes to New York, he is still angry that his roommate dated Jane, but is looking forward to seeing his sister, Phoebe. She chastises him for not liking anything. Holden reveals his difficulty in dealing with the death of Allie. He meets several friends who are shocked by Holden's behavior. He asks one girl, Sally to run away with him. She refuses and Holden is angry saying they "only have now", a sign that Holden refuses to see the future. Holden also drinks quite a bit and chain smokes and this, coupled with his other agitated behavior, makes one friend suggest he get psychiatric help. All of this is evidence that Holden is at a place in his life where he must learn to deal with the past and move on or forever remain childish and immature.

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The Catcher in the Rye

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