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Death in Catcher in the Rye
Transcript of Death in Catcher in the Rye
(about the army) "It wouldn't be too bad if they'd just take you out and shoot you or something, but you have to stay in the Army so goddam long" (140)
"I swear if there's another war, they better just take me out and stick me in front of a firing squad...they've got the atomic bomb invented. If there's ever another war, I'm going to sit right the hell on top of it. I'll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will." (141)
After his Death
"I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap." (155)
"I'm always saying 'Glad to've met you' to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive,you have to stay that stuff, though" (87)
"I started that stupid business with the bullet in my guts again. I was the only guy at the bar with a bullet in their guts. I kept putting my hand under my jacket, on my stomach and all, to keep the blood from dripping all over the place. I didn't want anyone to know I was wounded." (150)
he doesn't want people to know he is wounded, as if he doesn't deserve attention for his "wounds" or his death
"It killed me"
Holden repeats this phrase many times through out the book
it usually is used when something is funny/ironic
one would think Holden wouldn't take death lightly because of Allie, but he does use the phrase lightly
"He's dead now. He got leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18, 1946" (38)
"and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage..."I slept in the garage the night he died...I'll admit, but I hardly didn't even know I was doing it, and you didn't know Allie" (39)
Death is prevalent in Holden's life. It seems that he hates it; however, he has expressed suicidal thoughts.
We are going to explore his views and the contrast between views of others deaths and his own.
Holden was very angry at the world when Allie died
at this point it seems he has a negative view of death
"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 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."
even though Holden says he knows Allie is dead, he doesn't act like he knows
when asked by Phoebe what he likes the first thing he says is Allie
he holds Allie who is dead above those who are alive
he does seems to realize his use of the phrase at one point
"She killed Allie, too. I mean he liked her, too."
His Own Death
in these quotes Holden shows suicidal thoughts
but Holden's made up suicides are big and "showy" in the way he dies
it can also be seen as reckless
its like he doesn't want to stay in a situation with the possibility of death, he just wants to get it over with
Thesis: In the beginning of Catcher, Holden wants to die nobly because he admires Allie and James Castle; however, he realizes in the end he should live humbly for Phoebe.
Body Paragraph 1
Topic Sentence: Holden idolizes Allie in death and even holds him above those who are alive.
Body Paragraph 2
Topic Sentence: Holden admires James Castle because he died for a cause and stood up for his beliefs.
Body Paragraph 3
Topic Sentence: Holden often fantasizes about his own death because of his depression and idolization of the dead.
Body Paragraph 4
Topic Sentence: Towards the end of the book, Holden realizes that he needs to be there for Phoebe, and this thought keeps him alive.