What does Holden's relationship with his family in The Catcher in the Rye show about him?

Holden's relationship with his family in The Catcher in the Rye shows that he is disconnected from the adult world.Holden is close to his sister Phoebe, who is still a child. But Holden isn't particularly close to either his mother or father, neither of whom he really understands. His fraught relationship with his parents is indicative of how he feels about the adult world in general.

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When all is said and done, Holden Caulfield has the emotional level of a child and doesn't really belong in the adult world. His parents and his older brother, D.B., act as a constant reminder of a world he neither appreciates nor understands, a world he finds to be harsh, repressive, and full of phonies.

When Holden looks at his parents, he gains what for him is a glimpse into a truly terrifying future. The last thing Holden wants is to lead the kind of lives led by his parents and older brother; the very prospect fills him with hatred and disgust.

That explains why Holden remains in a state of arrested development throughout the book. Although technically a young adult, he doesn't feel safe in the adult world. He'd much rather remain in a state of permanent childhood, carefree and happy while doing nothing more strenuous that saving kids from falling off cliffs.

Holden's fixation on childhood and its associated innocence is reflected in his close relationship with his little sister...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 875 words.)

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