Challenger Deep Analysis

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Final Journal Challenger Deep

In Neal Shusterman’s novel Challenger Deep, the protagonist, Caden goes from denial of his mental illness to acceptance. Caden starts off holding a deep distrust in others. He’s constantly suspicious of the majority of the population. Even his own parents are not spared from these thoughts of wariness. Whenever his growing odd behavior is brought to his attention by others, he becomes defensive, angry, and refuses to acknowledge that anything is wrong with him. He hallucinates that the world around him is an adventure out at sea. By the end of the novel he accepts his mental illness, and that he needs help. He comes to the realization that he actually isn't at sea, and instead, he’s in a hospital. Eventually,
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So, as a result, he began to make choices that were leading him further into anguish. Until, Hals death. Hal was so far into his own misery that he gave up on life. He stopped taking his medication (244). Then, after an unknown amount of time, Hal made an attempt to end his own life using a blade he pried off a pencil sharpener (259). After this, Caden was distressed. Hal was one of his only, and closest friends. But, he realized what giving in to your inner demons can do to you, and to other people around you. He did not want that to happen to him. After Hals incident, Caden admitted to himself that he had thought about suicide. But the way he felt about Hals attempt, the guilt, anger, and anguish. He did not want to put that on others, especially on his sister, Mackenzie. For him, Despair was not an…show more content…
But, his aspiration for a brighter future is regained once he meets his group therapy leader, Carlyle. Just like everybody else, it takes time for Caden to warm up to Carlyle. When he does, Carlyle explains to Caden that when he was fifteen, he had his own first episode. He was admitted into a psychiatric hospital and after some misdiagnoses, he was diagnosed as Schizoaffective. But, he recovered. After learning it the hard way, he began to take his medication, and over time he was discharged. He stayed on his medication and earned a job as a video game designer. Not only that, but he also volunteers at the hospital, and when Caden needed it most, he said something very important to Caden. He said “Just because it’s a long voyage, it doesn’t mean that it lasts forever” (229). These words of wisdom remind Caden that even though he is miserable at the moment, and he’s going through a rough time. It won’t be that way forever, eventually, things will get better. Caden and Carlyle are much alike, and that is what inspires Caden and leaves him hopeful for the future. Caden also started to have psychotic episodes at the age of fifteen. Coincidentally, Caden and his friends were designing their own video game before Caden was admitted into the hospital. Seeing that Carlyle is able to live his life with minimal issue, and even design video games, one of his own ambitions, gives him much hope. Caden even admits that he’s amazed, and thrilled
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