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Isolation And Remoteness Of The Main Characters In The Catcher In The Rye And The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

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Young teenagers suffer from isolation and remoteness causing them to have a feeling of anxiety and depression. J.D Salinger and his novel The Catcher in the Rye reflects on Holden and how Holden is affected by the death of his younger brother Alie, it makes Holden feel isolated and lonely. Stephan Chobosky and his novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower reflection Charlie as he was affected by the loss of his best friend Micheal, Charlie is affected by Micheal’s death made him feel similar to Holden. Alienation can develop a feeling of isolation and remoteness, much the same as Holden and Charlie.

Isolation can affect someone from past tragedies that cause people to feel alone and depressed. Holden isolates himself from others after the tragedy of his brother Alie passing away. The Saturday before Christmas vacation begins, Holden stands on the top of Thomson Hill overlooking the football field. Holden watches the game from Thomson Hill and says, “The reason I was standing way up on Thomsen Hill, instead of down at the game, was because I’d just gotten back from New York with the fencing team. I was the goddamn manager of the fencing team. Very big deal” (nnnnn). Holden prefers to watch the game away from everybody else and alone instead of watching with the crowd and watching from up close, Holden isolates himself from others watching the game on the top of a hill. Similarly, in Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie suffers from the death of his best friend Micheal passing away, where he is isolated from others in the school. Charlie has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where he had to be hospitalized for the summer. Charlie’s past has hurt him in many ways and he is very emotional and says, “Some kids look at me strange in the hallways because I don’t decorate my locker, and I’m the one who beat up Sean and couldn’t stop crying after he did it. I guess I’m pretty emotional” (Chbosky 8). The way people look at Charlie in school affects him because he knows he is different and it hurts him because he fears that people will know him for the weird kid who was hospitalized for the summer and not having any friends, and he is afraid people of what people will think of him. Both Holden and Charlie experience some type of isolation either isolating themselves because of others or being isolated from others affects both of them causing them to feel alone and dealing with hardships.

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Remoteness can affect people by a lack of connection with people and relationships causing them to feel lonely. Holden deals with remoteness and how others do not connect with Holden leaving him isolated without anyone. Holden does not feel upset that he is leaving school he says “I was trying to feel some kind of good-bye. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-bye or a bad good-bye, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t you feel even worse” (Salinger 2). Holden wants to know he is leaving school because it makes him not worry about school or the people in school and he does not want to have any emotions about leaving. Holden tries to ignore the fact that he won’t have any friends and how he never had close connections with anybody so he tries to not care and let his emotions affect him. Charlie has a similar experience of how he also suffers from remoteness and loneliness. Charlie feels alone because none of his friends are talking to him charlie says “Nobody called me since last night. I don’t blame them. I have spent the whole summer reading hamlet. Bill was right. It was much easier to think of the kid in the play like the other characters I’ve read about so far. It also helped me while I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with me” (Chbosky 137). Charlie didn’t have anybody to talk to so he decided to call Mary Elisabeth on the phone so he could apologize to her about Friday when Charlie plays a game of truth or dare, Charlie decides to choose dare to avoid having to tell Mary Elizabeth the truth. Patrick says to Charlie “kiss the prettiest girl in the room on the lips” (Salinger 135). Charlie decided to kiss Sam instead of kissing Mary. After the kiss Sam and Mary very angry and upset. After the terrible night, Mary says on the phone to Charlie that it’s too late to apologize and that their relationship was over this makes Charlie more alone from all of his friends since the incident. Holden and Charlie both suffer the feeling of being lonely and not being able to connect with others, keeping them far away from other people because they don’t understand the difficulties they face.

Holden and Charlie are very similar in many ways. Both of them have experienced the feeling of being alienated from people. It caused them to feel separated from the world around them making them in feeling isolation and remoteness. Holden and Charlie have struggled with the loss of their loved ones and how they had to deal with the tragedy that made them feel alienated.

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Isolation And Remoteness Of The Main Characters In The Catcher In The Rye And The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. (2021, September 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Isolation And Remoteness Of The Main Characters In The Catcher In The Rye And The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.” Edubirdie, 13 Sept. 2021,
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