Emotional Damage, Hidden Truths, and Accepting Responsibility in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

1996 Words Jul 14th, 2018 8 Pages
Emotional Damage, Hidden Truths, and Accepting Responsibility in
J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye When one finds themselves in a reader’s position, they search for things in the novel that they can relate to. J. D. Salinger wrote a story that contained countless topics that people, past, present and future, can relate to in several ways. The novel follows the story of a troubled boy named Holden who leaves school due to his poor academic performance, an altercation with his roommate, and complications with his emotions due to the traumatic loss of his brother. He quickly understands how his narrow view of the world will lead him into trouble when he finds himself alone. The reader accompanies Holden through his stressful experiences
…show more content…
Although Holden is in treatment, the reader begins to question if it is truly helpful. Holden repeatedly argues with himself over whether his prescribed therapy sessions are working for him or not, and it seems that they really are not (Brooks n.p.). In the end, Holden regains his sense of reality, but one is left questioning if his sanity will ever be found.
Holden’s life experiences may seem normal to the average human being, but in his mind those events are far from normal. During his childhood years Holden’s parents failed at teaching him life values and morals, which played an effective role in him losing his vision of the perfect world that has no flaws. Allie’s death was the worst of the bunch, forcing his mind to bottle up in sadness and despair, causing Holden to be hospitalized. As stated previously, Holden losing his brother Allie caused him a great deal of stress and confusion; it portrays the death of Allie as the biggest downfall in his emotional status. It is obvious that the stability of Holden’s mind is far gone with little hope of return, the only possible way that he can regain his sanity is to repair the emotional damages left by his unfortunate experiences.
Through the course of the novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield displays to his readers that he is no longer mentally stable by his actions. Holden hints at his mental disability but it has already been obvious to his
Open Document