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Catcher Abuse Essay

581 words - 2 pages

Justin Kong Mr. La BonneE2 Period 8Not Just a Pat on the HeadIn The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden is socially disconnected and feels deep cynicism and aggression towards corrupt adults. By labeling most as phony, Holden is able to withdraw himself from forming lasting relationships. Holden's fear of intimacy is displayed in his inability to form bonds. This fear of affection towards others is a result of the sexual abuse Holden experienced as a child.The first hint that shows that Holden was sexually abused as a child was when he was staying over at Mr. Antolini's place. "That kind of stuff's happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid. I can't stand it" (193). This shows that in the past, abuse like this has happened to Holden. Also, when Holden woke up to see his former teacher patting his head, his reaction was insane. He immediately starts shouting and accusing Mr. Antolini of being a pervert, begins to sweat all over his body, drenching his shirt, and can barely speak coherently enough to utter a complete sentence. A reaction like that must have a reason behind it. Especially in sexually abuse victims, when an individual has experienced a traumatic event any slight reference or reoccurrence that reminds them of this situation will cause them to be flooded with fear and confusion. This "pat on the head," not only frightened Holden, but also resurfaced all his unexpressed emotions of his victimizing.Holden has always displayed a sense of aggression towards people he's referred to as phony. He immediately started a fight with Stradlater after Stradlater had told him about his date with...

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