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Gooder, G, Isolate to Protect, 4th

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by

Neil Sullivan

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Gooder, G, Isolate to Protect, 4th

"I didn't answer him. All I did was, I got up and went over and looked out the window. I felt so lonesome all of a sudden. I almost wished I was dead (Salinger 48)."
"Just to stop lying. Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it. No kidding. Hours (Salinger 58)."
Holden does not recognize that the reason he lies is because he:
Does not want people to know who he really is
Is afraid to let people into what he feels and thinks
By Ginnis Gooder
Isolate to Protect
This passage embodies the theme, and furthers Salinger's point by showing how Holden:
Keeps his true feelings and emotions from everyone in his life
Is afraid of being vulnerable
Tries to protect himself by closing himself off from the rest of the world
But as a result, he does not feel happy and safe, he feels alone
Does not have many, if any, deep relationships with people
But he ends up feeling depressed and alone.
What's the Point?
Why does Salinger create a story to address isolation as a from of protection?
Salinger uses this book to comment on things that he thinks turns innocent children into corrupt adults:
Adolescence is the transition period
Young adults become alone and depressed and confused because they are afraid to become vulnerable
Expresses that in order to have meaningful relationships, they must first become vulnerable
Expresses his hatred of "phonies," and shows how they get to be fake
Argues that openness and honesty is important for people to have genuine relationships
Salinger uses Holden's lies to express his view that adults become corrupt because they are too afraid of being hurt when they make themselves vulnerable.
"I'm sorry I told so many people about it. About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about... It's funny. Don't ever tell anybody anything (Salinger 214)."

Although Holden tries to prove himself better than everyone else, the truth is that interaction with others usually overwhelm him.
His cynical sense of superiority serves as protection.
Yet he continues to hurt himself by removing genuine relationships from his life
"He really was, too. You could see that [he was trying to help]. But it was just that we were too much on opposite sides of the pole, that's all (Salinger 15)."
Throughout the text, Salinger imbeds the "isolation as a form of protection" theme.
Holden refuses to accept help, because he cannot imagine opening up to someone.
He is polite to Mr. Spencer, but the relationship is extremely superficial.
In Conclusion:

What is the impact on the text as a whole?
Salinger wanted to comment on isolation as a form of protection.
He did this by portraying Holden as a hypocritical youth who was afraid of becoming vulnerable.
Overall, this theme of isolation is extremely prevalent throughout "The Catcher and the Rye."
Holden embodies the insecure, frustrated youth that Salinger knew would become corrupt adults.
Full transcript