Holden Caulfield 's The Catcher Of The Rye

1493 Words Sep 7th, 2014 6 Pages
Jerome David Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, describes Holden Caulfield’s journey to understand the complexities of growing up and his purpose. In the beginning, he is in a mental hospital somewhere near Los Angeles and is writing about this “madman stuff” to a psychoanalyst. Holden flunked out of Pencey Prep and leaves his dormitory to go on a journey around New York to find his way through post-war New York society. At the same time, he is suffering from depression and is on the verge of mental collapse. Eventually, he breaks down, thus the mental hospital. In Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield’s mental breakdown results from his self-imposed isolation, his environment, and his inundating grief over Allie’s death. Holden’s environment and his isolation engender his breakdown partially. His isolation is introduced when he, “was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill” (Salinger 2). His location is a metaphor for the loneliness he feels. Pencey Prep also exemplifies Holden’s isolation because he does not want to conform into the norms and he describes his education and experience as phony. Holden critically judges everyone without deeply thinking about them or understanding their perspective. This prevents him from forming social bonds with people and keeps him aloof. Holden also is alienated from society because he does not fit in anywhere when he complains that, “Everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques. The guys…
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