Analysis Of ' Holden Uses Defense Mechanisms

1157 WordsMar 13, 20175 Pages
Jenny Jung Mrs. Kehrmeyer AP Language, Period 1 08 March 2017 Consequently, Holden uses defense mechanisms, “as a means of preventing anxiety that would result from conscious awareness of disturbing impulses, wishes, or ideas arising from the id,” (Nevid 471). Nevid explains that according to Freudian theory, defense mechanisms reside in the unconscious part of the human brain because if people were conscious of every single problem, people wouldn’t be able to function. Therefore, Holden is subconsciously utilizing defense mechanisms in order to shield himself from confronting his problems. One major defense mechanism present in Holden’s behavior is denial. Holden’s resides in an ivory tower, reluctant to accept that he’s actually hurt.…show more content…
However, Nevid clarifies, “Though defense mechanisms may be a normal process of adjusting to the unreasonable demands of the id, they can give rise to abnormal behavior,” (471). Although defense mechanisms can help put off a certain problem for some time, relying on defense mechanisms is not always beneficial because it gives people reasons to act irrationally. This clarification of Freud’s theory is strongly portrayed in Holden’s exaggerated view of reality. His denial triggers delusional fantasies in Holden’s mind that he doesn’t seem to think deeply about. For example, when one rash thought entered into Holden’s mind, he delivers an ultimatum to Sally, saying, “...Tomorrow morning we could drive up to Massachusetts and Vermont...We’ll stay in cabin camps until the dough runs out. Then, when the dough runs out, I could get a job somewhere, and we could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, we could get married or something,” (Salinger 132). At the age of sixteen, as if it’s not unrealistic enough, he tries to persuade Sally. When Sally gives him a reality check, he practically rages at her. Holden is so blinded by the fantasy world he created for himself and his defense mechanisms were giving Holden an excuse to acting abnormally. As a result, he blames Sally for the unreasonable idea he proposed, calling her “a royal pain in the ass,” (133). This irrational behavior of Holden is exactly what Freud is illustrating in his theory of personality that

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