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Isolation from Society: Catcher in the Rye
Transcript of Isolation from Society: Catcher in the Rye
Catcher in the Rye
16 year old boy flunking out of school
Isolates himself to spare others
" 'Wouldn't you like a cup of hot chocolate before you go? Mrs. Spencer would be-' 'I would, I really would, but the thing is, I have to get going. I have to go to the gym. Thanks, though. Thanks a lot, sir." (p.15)
"I'd ask them all to visit me sometime if they wanted to, but I wouldn't insist or anything. What I'd do, I'd let old Phoebe come out and visit me in the summertime and on Christmas vacation and Easter Vacation." (p. 205)
From the very beginning it is apparent that Caulfield isn't like the other students at Pencey. Instead of attending a social gathering, in this case, the football game he was off by himself. He doesn't seem to grasp the idea of spending time with others who he should want to connect to but instead considers them "phonies".
"Anyway, it was the Saturday of the football game with Saxon Hall. The game with Saxon Hall was supposed to be a big deal around Pencey. It was the last game of the year, and you were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pencey didn't win." (p.2)
This is the start of Holden isolating himself when he is in a social setting. He cannot stand Mr. Spencer's and makes up an excuse to get away. He then continues on to say, "I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful." (p.16)
It's not that the society which Holden isolates him, rather that he isolates himself from society. He has opportunities to create new friendship but he always finds an excuse to not stay with the people he's surrounded by.
"THE FIRST THING I did when I got off at Penn Station, I went into this phone booth. I felt like giving somebody a buzz. I left my bags right outside the booth so that I could watch them, but as soon as I was inside, I couldn't think of anybody to call up." (p.54)
Following this quote Holden the lists four people which he could call, his brother D.B, his little sister Phoebe, Jane Gallageher, and Sally Hayes. But despite being able to call anyone of these people he chooses to be in isolation once again.