IRJE: Losing a brother

This IRJE will be talking about The Catcher in the Rye a novel by J.D. Salinger. The main character in this novel is Holden Caulfield and unfortunately his little brother (Allie) had died from cancer. This affected his mental health significantly. Holden’s brother Allie was an important aspect of his life and talks about him.

“What?” I said to old Phoebe. She said something to me, but I didn’t hear her. 

“You can’t even think of one thing.” 

“Yes, I can. Yes, I can.” 

“Well, do it, then.” 

“I like Allie,” I said. “And I like doing what I’m doing right now. Sitting here with you, and talking, and thinking about stuff, and–“ 

“Allie’s dead–You always say that! If somebody’s dead and everything, and in Heaven, then it isn’t really–“ 

“I know he’s dead! Don’t you think I know that? I can still like him, though, can’t I? Just because somebody’s dead, you don’t just stop liking them, for God’s sake– especially if they were about a thousand times nicer than the people you know that’re alive and all.” (pp. 184-185) 

This quote upsets me because I also have a little brother whom I really love, and I can’t even imagine how life would be without him. Though I don’t know what losing a close relative feels like but I can see why this puts a lot of distress on anyone who has. 

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