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Catcher in the Rye

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Holden's trajectory

CATCHR-CKX4YE

Every time I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddam curb, I had this feeling that I'd never get to the other side of the street. I thought I'd just go down, down, down, and nobody'd ever see me again... I started sweating like a bastard--my whole shirt and underwear and everything... Every time I'd get to the end of a block I'd make believe I was talking to my brother Allie. I'd say to him, 'Allie, don't let me disappear. Allie, don't let me disappear. Allie, don't let me disappear. Please, Allie.' And then when I'd reach the other side of the street without disappearing, I'd thank him.

Consider how Holden has (or has not) changed over the course of the story. What does the above narrative reveal about Holden's trajectory as a character?

A

Holden's idealism, which he so tightly clings to in the first half of the book, starts to evolve into nihilism at this point in the novel.

B

Holden has a strong sense of identity in the beginning of The Catcher in the Rye, but his confidence and sense of self have gradually unraveled.

C

Initially, Holden is in denial about Allie's death, but as the story progresses he comes to terms with the reality that his brother is no longer alive.

D

Over the course of the story, Holden's mental distress intensifies and as more time passes he becomes increasingly unstable.

E

As the story progresses it becomes increasingly clear that Holden wants to die not because he is especially depressed, but rather so that he can be with Allie again.