Catcher In The Rye Psychological Analysis Essay

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For many adults and even teenagers themselves, it is difficult to grasp the adolescent mind and the behavior they exhibit. In J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, protagonist Holden Caulfield suffers from depression despite his upper-class status that many strive after. From the beginning of the book, Holden’s cynicism and difficulty fitting in is exemplified. However, it is not until further into the book that the root of his cynical, depressive, and contradictory behavior and thoughts is explained. Although it may be interpreted that Caulfield is merely another teen going through typical adolescent complications, it is evident through close analyzation of his behavior that his difficulties come from deep-seated psychological issues…show more content…
Salinger’s use of symbolism precisely depicts the turmoil and angst that many adolescents can resonate with to this day as well as accentuating Holden’s depressed state. Through the psychoanalytic theory, the text can unintentionally reflect the author’s own psychological conflict. According to the article, “Psychoanalytic Approaches,” psychobiography is used to analyze the author and his/her life. For example, in The Catcher in the Rye, there are various similarities in Holden’s perplexing behavior and Salinger’s biography. According to J.D. Salinger’s biography on Biography.com, his parents came from mixed backgrounds which was widely looked down upon during that time which might have caused him to feel isolated from society. Like his now famous character Holden Caulfield, Salinger was a smart kid, but he flunked out of school and was sent to a military academy in Pennsylvania. After graduating from the military school, Salinger transferred colleges several times until finally settling for night classes at Columbia University where he met Professor Whit Burnett who saw Salinger’s knack for writing. Burnett was also the editor of Story magazine which featured
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