Holden Caulfield is a regular individual, yet he has had some traumatic incidents during his life. I believe that these things are the reason that Holden has been acting weird with his actions and his beliefs. The mixture between major depression and a memorable event in his life has caused him to act out throughout his life and caused him to be put into a mental home, although he does not need to be there. Holden’s problem isn’t something wrong with him mentally but something that went wrong with his life. I believe that with proper treatment and someone to talk to that Holden will be just fine.
Holden is very young when he loses his brother, which could be the reason he does not know how to deal with the situation correctly. Throughout the novel, Holden continues to think about Allie. For example, he wrote about him in a paper and he pleads to Allie in New York (Bennett 129). Psychoanalytic interpretations help readers to try and understand Holden’s psyche in order to figure out why Holden acts the way he does (Bennett 129). Looking at Caulfield’s childhood, which had a very traumatic event, could be the cause of his erratic behavior (Bennett 129).
Thinking of Allie both comforts him and upsets him. Holden feels guilty about some things with Allie. One particular instance that holden dwells on is a summer day when Allie wanted to accompany Holden and a friend on a bike ride. “Allie heard is talking about it, and he wanted to go, and I wouldn’t let him. I told him he was a child.” Now Holden replays this situation in his head, only this time he includes Allie.
This inability to see his own failings also shows Holden’s state of mind as he himself is failing in life in a way. Falling is the way Mr. Antolini describes how Holden is progressing, Holden is in a place where his mind is so accustomed to failing he can no longer sense the hole he has dug himself
Holden’s initial issue is that he is emotionally unstable. We learn that through the book he has many breakdowns and outbursts of emotion and feelings. Holden says, “He got leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18, 1946.” Holden says this with deep sadness and sympathy for the death of his brother. However, his day to day emotions are entirely different. His view of life is that everyone and everything in our society is a “phony.” This is apart of his unstableness because it shows that he is unable to hold back his mood swings.
The Catcher in the Rye Salinger gave the tone of the book humorous so that the book can be more relatable to teenagers in society. He talks about how Holden is lonely and he’s lost like every other teenager but he more like he doesn’t see from the real world. He is judgmental, he judges everything he sees and knows. Salinger writes this book to let us know what some teenagers go through and how people stay strong no matter what. He’s wanting us to know how teenagers are all different and they go through different things and they act a certain way because of what they’re going through.
“A Catcher in the Rye” is not only a timeless classic that will live forever in the memories of whoever reads it, but it is also an incredible representation of the hardships of a common American teenager, an asset that few novels can brag about possessing. One lesson this story exhorts is that when somebody feels too overwhelmed to face change, they isolate themselves and take it out on others. The story begins with Holden addressing us, the readers, to convey the message that he will not talk about his childhood. That is partially because it is a time that hurts him too
He really wants to protect her innocence and keep her from becoming a phony for as long as he can. In addition, Holden has a younger brother, Allie, who died when he was very young and in Holden's mind Allie will stay innocent forever. It's why holden likes his little brother Allie so much, even though he isn't alive anymore. Another example of how holden tries to protect the innocence of children is when he sees the words “F**K YOU” written on the wall of phoebe's school bathroom. Holden states, “I kept picturing myself catching him at it, and how I’d smash his head on the stone steps till he was good and goddam dead and bloody.” (117) Holden shows here how he would literally kill someone to protect the kids from losing their innocence.
I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the godam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it (Salinger 44).” He was inexperienced with handling grief and death at a young age; rather than rationalizing the situation, he decides to take out his grief and frustrations though destroying property and hurting himself in the process. Coincidentally, this marks Holden’s physical deterioration and his self-destructive tendencies used as a coping mechanism; his damaged hand shows readers he is weak not only physically but also psychologically, a repeating imagery throughout the novel. His inability to handle reality and relinquish the concept of innocence is also a recurring pattern in the novel. Throughout the novel, readers get to know Holden through apathy and grief, especially through
J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in The Rye is fueled by Holden Caulfield, historically America’s most controversial fictional character. The skepticism, the belief in the purity of the soul against the tawdry actions of this boy inspires many teenage readers. But what is wrong with him? What makes him the rebel that he is?