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The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

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What are some examples of how Holden's character develops in the first ten chapters of The Catcher in the Rye?

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In the first ten chapters of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden has left Pencey Prep and is out in New York City trying to find a place where he fits in.  At the end of Chapter 10, Holden is just leaving the Lavender Room where he has been hanging out and dancing with three dancers:  Marty, Laverne, and Bernice.  He has been trying to strike up a conversation with the women, but they do not seem too interested in really connecting with Holden.  Throughout these opening chapters, Holden has been on a mission to try to find a sense of camaraderie with others, but he has either shut people out of his life or he has put up barriers to prevent people from getting too close to him.  Holden is also trying to grapple with the adult world, which he sees as fake and phony--he continues to talk about how his brother D. B. has "prostituted" himself to Hollywood.  So we see the development of the complications that plague Holden, and although he attempts to try to resolve those complications, he is unable to do so in the early part of the novel.

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