J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye also deals with the theme of death. Holden’s life is deeply affected by the tragic death of his younger brother, Allie, who was sick with leukemia. The news of Allie’s death had a devastating effect on Holden, who had a mental breakdown and broke all the windows in the garage with his bare hands:
I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don't blame them. I really don't. I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. (pp. 40-41)
Allie’s death constantly haunts Holden, who becomes obsessed with the thought of his brother being alone in a cemetery, with his stomach covered by flowers (pp. 167-168). Moreover, Holden’s grief over Allie’s death resurfaces in random moments, such as the time when Stradlater fails to appreciate Holden’s emotional and personal composition about Allie’s baseball mitt.
Being unable to participate at Allie’s funeral, Holden obsesse...