The Catcher in the Rye

In the book The Catcher in the Rye, written by J. D. Salinger, Holden Returns to his sister’s room after getting some cigarettes and explains to his sister why he fails his classes and hates school. His sister responds by saying that he hates everything and challenges to him name one thing he likes. The only thing he can think of is Allie which is dead. She then asks him what he wants to do with his life, and Holden said his dream is to be “the catcher in the rye”.

“You don’t like a million things. You don’t.

[…] Name one thing.”


“I like Allie.”

“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.” (22.22-38)

I really like this quote, because this quote shows a lot of things about Holden and his dead brother, we don’t know if Allie was a great person or not, but Holden, even with all the bad things going around him, he can still idealize his brother, as it gives him all the values he is missing from reality. But this only drives him more into isolation as he hates all the people around him.