Holden's Phoniness: The Catcher In The Rye '

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Phoniness: The Worst Mental Illness Holden Caulfield is a complex character, but it’s this complexity that simultaneously makes him insanely simple. The intricacies of Holden’s mind can lead a reader into believing that he’s super depressed, is a compulsive liar, has obsessive compulsive disorder, or should be diagnosed with any other mental illnesses in any number of combinations. These assumptions are reaching. Instead of sticking Holden with labels and saying he needs medication and therapy, think about his life and situation. He’s a normal, albeit dramatic, teenager dealing with inner workings of life that he just isn’t familiar with. Holden, whilst over dramatic, is a normal sixteen year old suffering only to the age old illness of adolescence, rather than depression, compulsive lying disorder, and obsessive…show more content…
Holden’s grapple with leaving school and isolation is him raging against the normality of adult life being shoved down his throat. He’s trying to transition from boy to man, but doesn’t want to, because all he sees in adults is their unkindness, insincerity, and phoniness. He fights with the boys at school who are blind to what they’re becoming as they are transitioning into adulthood. He refuses to form into just another phony adult. Unlike every other character, Holden is going through life with his eyes wide open; he sees everything for what it is. This is extremely significant, and ignoring it is ignoring the biggest message in the book: Don’t be blind to the problematic ways of adults and just accept it, because they assume that they know better. Holden just aspires to be the one adult in his life who escapes phoniness, and he’s going to do it, or die trying. And that effort he’s putting into evading phoniness? It shows that he isn’t mentally ill, just hyper focused on his future and making it the best it can be, which is something everybody should strive to
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