Holden Caulfield is Lost in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

1356 Words 6 Pages
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the leading character, Holden Caulfield, emerges as an adolescence lost in his own private world of pain and suffering, yet ostensibly he was able to provide himself with all the luxuries and splendors of American society. Holden is presented as a failure who struggles to stay in at least one of the four schools he's been kicked out of. This can reflect that Holden can't manage to get by in life. Throughout the book, it is obvious that Holden is running from so many things such as growing up, reality and people who are phonies. It seems that Holden is confused and trapped in memories from moments past, that he is dealing with loneliness and isolates himself as a form of protection. Not only that but he …show more content…
Holden seems to be lonely and this can reflect back to Allie's death. He doesn't really have anyone to catch him from falling into the ravine, off the rye field the way he would catch the kids. He doesn't have anyone to motivate him to succeed. The reader is taken back and forth between Holden's remembering and re-living the traumatic pain of his past with his family and the complete disconnect he has experienced. Allie's death changed all of Holden's family as well as himself. It's almost as if when Allie died, the household died. When Holden broke the windows in the garage, on the night Allie died, he said, "My hand still hurts me once in a while when it rains and all, and I can't make a real fist... I mean I'm not going to be a goddam surgeon or violinist or anything anyway" (Salinger 39). This disconnect Holden is experiencing between him and his parents is causing him to lose motivation to succeed in school and in life. According to Freud, it's Holden's unconscious state of mind that drives his defense mechanism to seclude himself from his parents and actually other adults as well. Much like J.D. Salinger. Salinger lived in seclusion in Cornish, New Hampshire for his last fifty-one years of a lonely life. He wanted to live a private life and didn't want to be bothered. The defense mechanism is "In Freudian theory, the reality-distorting strategies of the ego to prevent awareness of
Open Document