Holden Caulfield Mental Illness

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J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye is a story about a 16-year-old boy, Holden Caulfield. Holden is expelled from Pencey Preparatory School because he flunked four of the subjects he was taking. He realizes Pencey would send a letter home to his parents informing them of what had happened. Holden thinks it would be best for him to stay in hotels in New York City for a couple of days, to allow some of his parent’s anger to dissipate, before finally leaving to go home. While in New York City, Holden goes to bars and meets up with some of his friends. After being in New York City, Holden goes home to tell his sister, Phoebe, that he is leaving to go live in the far west as a deaf-mute person. I think Holden has very severe mental health problems …show more content…

Holden’s younger brother, Allie, died of leukemia when he was eleven years old and Holden was thirteen years old. Another tragic thing that Holden had to face was the suicide of one of his classmates by jumping out of a window. This impacted Holden’s character in a major way, from not being able to trust people because they were “phonies'' to having a mental breakdown in the park. Major events that lead me to believe that he was not okay mentally are when he punched all the windows out of the garage, he imagines he sees Allie, he fantasizes about committing suicide, made a rash decision to go live in the west as a deaf/mute, and gets drunk many, many times. All of these instances show Holden has a lot of grief in his life. Holden punching out the windows and wanting to move out west showed that he had angry outbursts without thinking about the consequences of his actions. Oddly enough, throughout the story, Holden imagines he sees Allie, and he talks with him. I think that this is a way for Holden to push away the fact that Allie has passed away. I also think that Holden longs to …show more content…

The location at which this story begins is Pencey Preparatory School in the fictional town of Agerstown, Pennsylvania. The school has many students attending, many of whom are labeled as “phonies''. After Holden gets kicked out of school, he goes to New York City, and this is where the majority of this story takes place. Holden tends to go to bars every evening where he sees some of his friends due to it being Christmas break for other schools in the area. At night, Holden bounces around to various hotels in the

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