Identify a point of discussion on Holden's character in chapters 19-21.

Asked on by suvini

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would think that a fairly strong discussion point in these chapters is how far down Holden is descending.  It is not merely Luce in Chapter 19 that suggests Holden seek some type of psychological help.  It becomes evident in how Holden is wrestling with something larger than himself.  Holden is enduring much in way of psychological pain and is having a difficult time in articulating it and trying to find some type of way through it.  Holden is becoming more off beat, being perceived as more of an outsider and the danger to either himself or others is becoming more pronounced.  The feelings of pain about his own mortality, the death of his brother, and the challenge between feeling sad and angry are starting to take their toll on Holden in these chapters.  I think that a good discussion point would be to talk about how Holden actually is descending into a dark place in these chapters.  What is it that he does that actually is a call or a cry for help?  How would these acts have been seen then and how are they viewed now?  Have we progressed in being able to recognize the pain and struggle of psychological conditions?  Using what is there at this point in the novel, the discussion of Holden's psychological configuration might be yield some very interesting and thought provoking ideas.


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