Throughout the book, Holden is struggling to get by. The death of his brother Allie has left him in a tough spot. Holden doesn’t exactly know how to deal with this. The different stages of grief are represented through Holden. Holden shows denial and anger when he flashbacks to one of his memories after his brother’s death. Holden recalls the time he spent the night in his garage: “I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. It was very stupid I have to admit, but I hardly didn’t even know I was doing it, and you didn’t know Allie (Salinger, 39).” His denial is represented when he does not admit why he did what he did to the garage. Holden
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual”. In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield’s lies become habitual throughout the book. Holden is a sixteen-year-old boy, who has been kicked out of several schools including, most recently, Pencey Prep. Holden’s younger brother, Allie, died when Holden was only thirteen and his older brother is too busy working for Hollywood to care about Holden. Although his mother cares immensely for him, Holden saddens her by failing academically. The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’. Holden lies as a result of his depression, in order to hide the fact that he’s lonely and bored with his life, to divert any questions which he believes are too personal, and to create his own reality. In this way, Salinger illustrates how, during difficult times, people resort to lying as a coping mechanism.
He shows signs of depression, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, and the beginning stages of anxiety and anger issues. From the beginning of the book, one can see that he different than other characters who have similar characteristics. He is “in that unhappy phase of life, that transitional stage, where he has outgrown the relatively well-ordered world of his childhood and must find his way in the world of adults” (Bungert). This is important considering that many people get diagnosed with mental illnesses when they are in their teenage years. His struggles for getting out of childhood is a stressor for his mind. At the end of the novel, when Holden is finished telling his story, he says that he could probably tell us about how he got sick. He also acknowledges “the one psychoanalyst guy they have [there]” who asks if he is going to start applying himself (234). The fact that there is someone analyzing his behavior is a clear indicator that he shows signs of mental illnesses. Holden dodges any questions about his feelings of what happened to him because he does not know how to feel. The psychoanalyst also asks Holden if he is going to start applying himself in school more, but Holden does not fully answer the question. Not being able to apply oneself and losing interest are both signs of mental illnesses. These could lead to a person eventually dropping of out school, which is what Holden essentially does after getting kicked out and making his plan to move
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye J.D Salinger writes about a teenager struggling to find his place within the existence of the reality of others. Salinger creates shocking events that lay out the foundation of the the main character Holden Caulfield’s life in the novel. Salinger uses Holden’s characteristics throughout the novel such as Holden’s stubbornness to establish a much bigger theme in the book along with many other symbols.
Nobody would have wanted to read the struggles of Holden all the time, throughout the entire book. Holden would not have been discovered as a main character. Not very many people would have wanted to read such a depressing book all the time. “What I really felt like was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would’ve done it, too, if I’d been sure someone would cover me up as soon as I landed. I didn’t want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory”(Salinger 116). This quote is a prime example of when Holden is depressed and Salinger made it kind of humorous. With the “I don’t want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory,”(Salinger 116) as his part of the humor. But it made Holden reevaluate the situation and not actually commit suicide. This just adds to the fact that Salinger humor made the book not so
As one grows up they may experience dramatic changes in their life that they wish had never occurred. In The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D Salinger, the main Character Holden Caulfield, goes through loss as his life begins to change right in front of him. His brother Allie who Holden was very close with, passes away, and his family and friends are all moving forward with their lives. Meanwhile, Holden is still stuck in the past. The change that is occuring in his life is affecting his current emotions and his ability to move forward. When forced with abrupt, unforeseen change, people desire to hold onto the familiar.
Holden is a very introverted character who hesitates throughout the book to share information about his life . J.D Salinger makes sure to portray Holden that way to
Holden is now lost in his own fantasy world not wanting to grow up from his childhood life, due to the tragedy of Allies death. Freud’s theory would examine the depth of the unconscious state and its primary root source attached to incomprehensible pain by noting, “the preconscious state holds information we’ve stored from past experience...This information can be retrieved from memory and brought into awareness at any time” (Freud 469). Because Holden never stops thinking of his brother he is trapped in his own world and can’t find an escape to his mood disorder of depression and his emotion of tribulant grief. However, Holden acknowledges that he is lost, “they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all…I don’t blame them” (Salinger 38). Moreover, Holden neglects to grow up. Salinger attributes Holden’s words by implying,‘Oh, I feel some concern for my future, all right. Sure. Sure, I do.’ I thought about it for a minute. ‘But not too much, I guess’ (14). Holden didn’t want to grow up from his childhood years or even think of the future. He wants to remain in his childhood years, when everything was full of life and vivid happiness. Holden’s actions are also childlike, which makes his character unreliable at times, but it irritates Holden when people don’t take him seriously or simply notice that when he tries to change his behavior. For instance, Salinger mentions, “I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older than I am-I really do-but people never notice it. People never notice anything” (9). Salinger adds how people ‘never notice anything’ to Holden’s feelings because Holden is a boy, whom his parents don’t take care of, which sparks Holden’s feelings of no one even caring and noticing him. As identified in the beginning of the Novel Stradlater opens Holden’s feelings with dialogue which reveals “my parents were occupied and all that crap…” (1). Holden’s family wasn’t really there for him, when he need their advice or
Holden exhibits many of the physical symptoms of depression, such as changes in appetite, unexplained physical problems, and increased consumption of alcohol (Mayo Clinic). By the end of the novel, Holden experienced a complete nervous breakdown and displays many of the symptoms of depression. Once in the novel Holden mentions his thin physique while at a diner. He says, “I’m a very light eater… That’s why I’m so damn skinny,” (Salinger 120). Additionally, another time at a diner he orders a doughnut and coffee, but he is unable to bring himself to eat the doughnut, and even says, “if you get very depressed… it’s hard as hell to swallow,” (Salinger 216). Holden recognized his depression caused by Allie’s death and being isolated in New York for three days, and because of it, he is unable to bring himself to eat. Also, his depression caused him to inexplicably pass out while at a museum (Salinger 225) and nearly vomit while walking around New York (Salinger 202). Additionally, Holden went to Mr. Antolini’s house because he needed a place to stay for the night, and while he was there, Holden said he was “feeling sort of dizzy” and had “a helluva headache all of a sudden,” (Salinger 202). This comes up after Mr. Antolini tries to talk to Holden about his future, and
Throughout the novel, The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, Holden struggles to find himself and who he truly is in order to be happy. His struggles relate to many things that he does or say in particular.
To start, the death of Holden’s younger brother, Allie, has impacted Holden’s life to a certain extent. He passed away when he was eleven years old and when Holden was thirteen years old from Leukemia. Holden has not been the same ever since the death and can be shown by, “I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don’t blame them. I really don’t. I slept in the garage the night he died and broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it” (Salinger 39). Ever since the passing of his brother, Holden has never been the same person as he had been. He never quits thinking of Allie and he believes he is with him at all times. When Holden is depressed, which happens frequently, he decides to speak to Allie to comfort him, as shown by, “What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get very depressed. I keep telling him to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon 's house” (Salinger 98). Holden always keeps a spot in the back of his head for his younger brother so he can communicate with him whenever. By communicating with Allie, Holden feels better about himself, as he can recall past events that he shared with his brother. To add, the death and tormenting of Holden’s former peer, James
The challenges Holden prevails overemphasize his diligence and highlight the committed route he embarks on as a hero. Salinger utilizes Holden’s hardships to portray the struggle he encounters while battling against his adverse odds during his escapade. Through Salinger’s interpretation of a hero, he depicts Holden as a character who persists to pass the obstacles that confront him; to illustrate, Holden’s constant feeling of loneliness consumes him along with his demoralizing background, providing an unstable foundation for Holden to grow and mature: "…I had this feeling that I 'd never get to the other side of the street. I thought I 'd just go down, down, down, and nobody 'd ever see me again…I 'd make believe I was talking to my brother
In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger portrays a fascinating juvenile misfit character extensively named Holden Caulfield. Holden goes to school at the age of sixteen and is said to be a misfit in society. However, even though society is corrupt in some ways, Holden Caulfield is a misfit no matter if people say he is misunderstood in the eyes of society.
Denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Holden is already a lonely individual. He adventures around New York City, which is highly populated, and he probably passes thousands of people, but does not understand the concept on socializing with people and respect. He often finds himself criticizing them, this keeps him isolated from everyone. Holden later finds himself trying to exempt the feeling of being lonely by calling people from his childhood, and eventually people he barely knew just so he had someone to talk to. After his brother Allie died, the first thing Holden did was punch out all the windows in his garage. He also attacked Stradlater after he refuses to use Holden’s essay because he felt Stradlater was dissing Allie. Most grievers bargain with God, but Holden is not religious so he bargains directly to Allie, praying to keep him from disappearing. Holden Begins to feel adulthood as he’s maturing from childhood. He does not only grieve for the death of Allie, but also for the death of his childhood. Toward the end of the book however, he begins to accept it all into reality and realize that he is growing up and it is all a part of life. This is apparent in his Catcher in the Rye speech, instead of him saying he still wants to be one of the kids in the field, he accepts that he has outgrown it and wants to be the Catcher, or the protector of
An important part of a person’s life is when they finally learn how to be more mature and have basically come of age. When a character achieves this quest in a story it is called the Bildungsroman. In this genre of literature, the story displays and demonstrates how the character grows up and becomes an adult. They learn how to be mature in important situations and most importantly they are able to leave behind their ties to their childhood. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is very immature throughout most of the story. He refuses to give up his childhood and he is anxious to see what the future hold for him. Towards the end of the book, the reader is able to catch glimpses of Holden’s new found maturity. He is starting to understand that growing up is a big responsibility and is finally ready to take on that challenge. Although he has not completely matured, one distinct moment at the end of the book lets the reader know he will reach complete maturity in the near future. In J.D. Salinger’s, The Catcher in the Rye, the author