Second (and related) an essential fact: us never satisfy him, however we sure do hear a lot around him.

Here are some much more facts: Allie to be Holden’s younger brothers who died of leukemia ~ above July 18, 1946, as soon as he was eleven and Holden was thirteen. The night the his death, Holden damaged all the windows in the garage and had to be hospitalized. Allie to be red-haired and also left-handed. He composed poems ~ above his glove in green ink.

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Hm. Seems pretty factual and also not as well informative, right? Well, let’s take one more look: Allie was left-handed, a.k.a special. He had red hair, a.k.a. He was special. He created poems ~ above his glove, a.k.a. He to be sensitive and also emotional; he used environment-friendly ink, a.k.a. He to be special.

Holden"s calculation of this information also tells us a many of about the method he thinks about Allie: he idealizes him. We don"t doubt the Allie to be a great kid, but according come Holden, he"s the many intelligent, nicest, sweetest, most endearing son with the finest sense of feeling you"ll ever before meet. In Holden"s love because that his brother and also in his pain end Allie"s death, Holden has glorified Allie right into something of a saint: “it wasn’t just that he was the most intelligent member in the family. The was additionally the nicest …. God, he to be a pretty kid, though” (5.7).

Notice that Holden provides the word “kid”: Allie died at a comfortable (if tragic) prepubescent eleven years old. Having never to be corrupted through the civilization of sex and also adults, never has to "go over the edge" that the an excellent cliff the Holden imagines.

Allie, can You listen Me?

Of course, being a saintly and also perpetually-young deceased person makes Allie a an excellent go-to defense blanket because that Holden in time of none-too-infrequent time of distress. Take Holden’s rock-bottom moment, when he’s walking under the street and thinking about disappearing:

Anyway, I preserved walking and also walking up 5th Avenue, without any type of tie ~ above or anything. Then every one of a sudden, something really spooky started happening. Every time I pertained to the end of a block and stepped off the goddam curb, I had actually this emotion that I"d never get to the other side of the street. I assumed I"d just go down, down, down, and nobody"d ever see me again. Boy, go it scare me. You can"t imagine. I started sweating choose a bastard—my totality shirt and underwear and also everything. Then I started doing other else. Every time I"d obtain to the end of a block I"d make believe I was talk to my brother Allie. I"d say to him, "Allie, don"t permit me disappear. Allie, don"t let me disappear. Allie, don"t allow me disappear. Please, Allie." and then as soon as I"d with the various other side of the street without disappearing, I"d give thanks to him. (25.8)

Here, Allie is practically like a guardian angel for Holden, maintaining him associated to the world. In that way, Allie is the one acting favor the catcher in the rye: since he’s eternally dead and eternally innocent, he’s somehow keeping Holden indigenous going over his very own cliff—from walking “down, down, down.” See how those roles are reversed? Holden desires to be for someone what Allie is to him.

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But why doesn"t Holden simply tell us all this? Why do we need to accidentally stumble into the subject via Stradlater"s English composition, or a reminiscence around Bobby Fallon, or pneumonia?

Well, as Holden self says, "you don"t recognize what understand you many till you begin talking about something the doesn"t attention you most" (24.24).