Psychoanalytic Reading Of The Catcher In The Rye

1308 Words6 Pages
Tragic events can affect your mindset in irreversible ways, causing self-destructive behavior, low self-esteem, and devious actions. Jerome David Salinger in his novel, The Catcher in the Rye, he develops the character of Holden Caulfield, an adolescent boy who is living a tragedy, causing suffering and deep pain within him. According to Mary Klages from the University of Colorado, she incorporates Warren Hedges and Freud through a psychoanalytic lens and they come to a conclusion that psychoanalytical approaches reveal how and why people behave as they do, which helps clarify Holden Caulfield’s actions in the novel. Holden is presented as a troubled adolescent, facing discontent of his childhood in which he desires not to describe much in…show more content…
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
Open Document