The character oh Holden has many conflicts with society. He suffers these conflicts because of his own low self-esteem. He doesn”t like and has conflict with people similar to him. He has such high standards for people. He bases these expectations on his brother Allie’s example. To him Allie is such an awesome person. Allie was honest, artistic (poetic), valuable, intelligent, and just a good kid. “God, he was a nice kid, though. ” Holden is especially disappointed with the following characters-D. B. , for his materialism, Stradlater, for his exploitation of women, and Mr. Antolini’s motives.
Holden values art as an expression of one’s vision and not as a vehicle to make money. Holden has a conflict with his older brother D. B. To Holden, D. B is a sellout. He gave up writing for himself to pandering others for money. Holden feels that D. B. is materialistic. He lives in Hollywood, drives a nice car and is enjoying money. Holden is so judgmental of him when he really has no right to be so. Holden wanted to protect innocent creatures. Holden couldn”t use people and felt a need to protect them. For instance, he looked out for Jane and couldn”t use Sunny. He even wonders about where ducks go for winter. He desired to protect.
He has a conflict with Stradlater’s character. Stradlater is exploitive of women. He used them and Holden hated that. Friendship should be unselfish. It should not be made for one’s own benefit. Holden at first likes Mr. Antolini because he felt Antolini cared and was a good person. For instance, the incident when Mr. Antolini put the blanket on the dead body. Holden liked him. After that “couch incident”, Mr. Antolini disgusts him. Holden ponders whether that incident was an affectionate gesture but due to the fact that he is terrified by society because of past experiences is convinced it is an act of perversion or sexual gratification.
Those were some of the conflicts Holden had-with his brother D. B. , with Stradlater, and with Mr. Antolini. By the end of the book, Holden suffers from a mental breakdown. Holden is so insecure with society due to life experiences. Added stress and sleep deprivation drives him to an institute. While in the institute, his brother D. B. visits him. He even misses Stradlater. This shows he is becoming more open to other people’s agendas and personalities. It seems he is on his way to mental stability and health.