What are Holden's struggles in the book The Catcher in the Rye?

Holden's struggles in the book The Catcher in the Rye include his inability to properly cope with his brother's tragic death and move on from his traumatic past. Holden also struggles with identity issues and fails to engage in meaningful social interactions. Holden's lack of social skills prevents him from forming genuine friendships, which is why he also struggles with loneliness. Holden also struggles in school and is desperately afraid of becoming an adult.

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Many of Holden Caulfield's issues directly stem from the tragic death of his younger brother Allie, who passed away when Holden was thirteen years old. Holden has never properly coped with Allie's death and seems to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder connected to the tragic incident.

One of Holden's main struggles in the story concerns his inability to move on with his life by making peace with his past. Holden desperately fears becoming an adult, believes that the competitive world of grown-ups is full of "phonies," and desires to remain an adolescent. His fear of the future causes him to stagnate, and he naively wishes to save children from entering adulthood by becoming a "catcher in the rye."

Holden also has identity issues and lacks self-awareness. Holden desires to be a suave, charming individual but does not possess any of the desirable traits that he resents in his charismatic roommate, Stradlater. Holden also struggles with his sexuality and social skills. His immaturity,...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1016 words.)

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