What are some people and events in "The Catcher in the Rye" that change Holden?Disscuse the changes in Holden's physical, mental, and emotional characteristics from the beginning of the...

What are some people and events in "The Catcher in the Rye" that change Holden?

Disscuse the changes in Holden's physical, mental, and emotional characteristics from the beginning of the book to the end.

Asked on by layn

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morrol's profile pic

morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Holden goes through many changes throughout the novel.

Physically, well, he acquires a hat. His emotional and mental changes are much more profound.  One character who has an impact on Holden even before the book begins is his brother Allie. Allie is described as the best person Holden knew.  Allie is held up on a pedestal and idealized because of his goodness and innocence.

Holden's experience with the prostitute also has a deep emotional impact on Holden. He only wants to talk to her, and weeps after she leaves. 

pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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When Allie died, Holden slept in the garage, he didn't want to go into the house.  He broke all the windows in the garage, breaking his hand, which still hurts three years later. 

Holden should have received therapy three years ago, he didn't get the help he needed and has since failed out of every private high school that he attended.

Holden has also been influenced by Jane Gallagher, his dream girl.  He met Jane when they were in Maine and each had a summer home there.  Holden and Jane were very close, they shared their troubled lives, Jane's crazy step-father and the death of Holden's brother.  He feels deeply for Jane, very protective, but never calls her.

At Pencey Prep, Holden rooms with Ward Stradlater, who puts up with him, but is not his friend.  Stradlater influences Holden's state of emotional and mental health when he goes out with Jane Gallagher.

In Chapter 6 Holden confronts Stradlater about his date with Jane and they get into a fist fight.  After this, Holden feels that he must physically leave Pencey Prep and he sneaks out of school, before he is supposed to, and goes to New York City.

Holden does not go home, he can't, he doesn't want to face his parents who don't seem to see that Holden is in a great deal of personal emotional pain.

Holden's encounter with various characters like Maurice the pimp, who beats him up in the hotel and the girls in the Lavender Room all bring him down emotionally. 

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