Deconstructing Holden Caulfield

Holden grapples throughout the novel with the inevitability of adulthood, and on an even deeper level, with the elusive cycle of life and death. Holden fears the unknown-his brother suddenly fell ill with cancer and died a young boy, never having had the chance to lead an adult life. Holden feels guilty-why is he the one who has to be an adult, mingle with morons at cocktail parties and flash BMW car keys. Ultimately, Holden fears death, its unpredictability, its cruelty and contempt for human life. He resents change, but knows that the world is ever changing, and he has no choice but to change with it…

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