Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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What was Holden's problem? Use incidents and examples from the book to support your conclusion.

In the book "The Catcher in the Rye", by J.D. Salinger. The main character of the book and narrator was Holden Caulfield, who moves from prep school to prep school. He is sixteen years old and a junior at Pencey Prep. Holden is intelligent and sensitive. Holden's problem in this book was that he felt lonely and scared of the adult world. He was also confused about life and the people in it.

Holden feels tormented by the memory of his younger brother Allie's death. His life was also complicated by his sexuality. This was shown all throughout the book, especially when he was with Sunny, the prostitute, in the hotel room. He had the opportunity to do sexual things with her but he did not because he felt uncomfortable. Usually Holden does not do anything to girls on dates if they say no, but it was different with the prostitute it was her job and he still decided not to do anything with her because he did not feel sexy enough.

He wants to see his sister, Phoebe, and his old girlfriend Jane Gallagher, but instead he spends time with Sally Hayes. Although, Holden says he really likes Jane but he never calls her. He is confused about his feelings. Holden got really lonely roaming around the city, so he decides to sneak back to his parents apartment to talk to Phoebe. He borrows some money from her because he was broke and she offered all her Christmas money. This is when Holden really felt like a loser. He felt that he can not accomplish to nothing taking money from his little sister, so he decides to give it back to her. This is when he started thinking much harder about life and that he needs to get into the adult world and out this little kids world and grow up.

Holden experiences a nervous breakdown as he wonders the streets of NYC. As he is crossing the street he feels as if he is going down into the ground like he was dying. He looks back and starts talking to his dead Allie as if Allie was there coaching him saying that he can do it. This is the point were Holden realizes that he has to start growing up and live life. Beneath the surface of Holden's tone and behavior runs a more idealistic, emotional current. Holdens insecurity affected him in a big way. Dealing with Allies death and life did not help him out until his breakdown.