Allie

Outer characterization

Allie is an important character in J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye. He is Holden’s younger brother, who died of leukemia three years before the novel starts, when he was eleven and Holden was thirteen: “He got leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18, 1946” (p. 40). Allie used to have red hair, like Phoebe (p. 72), which made him stand out:

I’ll tell you what kind of red hair he had (…) I remember once, the summer I was around twelve, teeing off and all, and having a hunch that if I turned around all of a sudden, I’d see Allie. So I did, and sure enough, he was sitting on his bike outside the fence (…) and he was sitting there, about a hundred and fifty yards behind me, watching me tee off. That’s the kind of red hair he had. (p. 40)

Holden’s red hunting hat, which he wears both when he is alone or with others, may be seen as a reminder of his late brother, as the color of the hat reminds him of Allie’s unique...

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