Consider The Catcher in the Rye as a tragedy.
ANSWER – The Catcher in the Rye opens in a sanatorium, where Holden is recuperating from a mental breakdown. Holden, all of sixteen years, begins by describing his expulsion from Pencey Prep, a select preparatory school, prior to Christmas vacation. He spends the following two days in hiding in New York City.
Holden’s roommate at the School is Stradlater, a handsome, gross amorist. On Holden’s last night, a Saturday night, he is in a frenzy of jealousy because Stradlater has dated up Jane Gallagher, with whom he is in love. Jane and Allie, who is den’s dead brother, never appear in the novel. They with Phoebe constitute Holden’s emotional frame of reference. Holden loves Jane, but never calls her up. Instead, he keeps calling Sally Hayes, whose manifest phoniness gives him ” royal pain”. When Stradlater is out with his date, Holden agrees to do his classroom composition for him. He writes a descriptive essay about his dead brother, Allie’s baseball mitt.