Holden's Depression in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

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Nineteen million American adults suffer from a major case of depression (Web MD). That is a staggering one in every fifteen people (2 in our classroom alone). Holden Caulfield is clearly one of those people. Depression is a disease that leads to death but is also preventable. Psychology, stressful events, and prescription drugs are causes of depression. Stressful events brought on Holden’s depression. Holden has been trying to withstand losing a brother, living with careless parents, and not having many friends. The Catcher in the Rye is a book that takes us through the frazzled life of Holden Caulfield, who appears to be just a regular teen. But by hearing his thoughts and through heart-wrenching events in the book, the reader learns that…show more content…
When he met up with Sally, Holden was so excited. He got to the meeting place early and eagerly awaited her arrival. Instead of going to see a movie, as previously planned, they went ice skating. Sally and Holden have a wonderful time ice skating. After skating, and during dinner, Holden has this peculiar idea about moving away with Sally to Massachusetts or Vermont. She firmly rejects the idea. “Why not, why the hell not?” says Holden (132). Holden has a strong negative reaction to Sally, asking her why she won’t go with him. Holden acted in an irrational manner. After they argue Sally leaves him abruptly. Holden’s unrealistic request and overreaction to Sally’s response was induced by his depression. The second example J.D. Salinger uses to show that Holden’s depression is not only affecting him, but the people around him, is through Phoebe. Phoebe is Holden’s younger sister. Even though their ages are significantly different, they get along well with each other. Phoebe does very well in school and she also has other talents like dancing. She is a happy, well adjusted child. After Holden gets kicked out of Pencey as a result of his depression, Phoebe becomes angry when she guesses why he came home early. She angrily exclaims, “You did get kicked out! You did!” (165) Phoebe cares for Holden and his failure in school upsets her. This shows how his depression has a ripple effect and reaches his relationship with Phoebe. An additional example in which J.D.
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