Essay on Overcoming Trauma in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

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Overcoming Trauma in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden is in a rest home, where he speaks about his past and discusses his thoughts and feelings of his memories. Holden tells about his life including his past experiences at many different private schools, most recently Pensey Prep, his friends, and his late brother Allie which led to Holden’s own mental destruction. I believe that Holden Caulfield is mentally disturbed and shows many signs of it throughout the novel. Problems in Holden’s life that have led him to this rest home are the death of his brother Allie, his multiple failures throughout his academic career, and his distress about moving on in life. Holden deals with
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Holden Caulfield is mentally disturbed and would need to approach his issues if he had any desire of resolving his turmoil. Holden has experienced clusters of severe trauma throughout his entire life. His brother Allie died of Leukemia a few years ago and Holden was so upset that he punched all of the windows out in his garage that night. Neither Holden, nor his family have yet to deal with the loss of Allie, which clearly affected Holden very much. Also Holden was a witness to James Castle’s suicide at a private school that he once attended. James Castle had been bullied and could no longer handle the situation, so he resorted to suicide by hurling himself out of a building window and falling to his death. Although Holden was not incredibly close with James Castle, he was still affected deeply by the sight of the incident. I believe that Holden’s response to these traumatic events is understandable because he had seen and been through so many horrid ordeals in his life, and he did not have the ability to cope with these issues. Holden Caulfield does not know how to handle himself now because he has not previously dealt with his feelings. Even though Holden is disturbed and mentally unstable he does demonstrate healthy psychological traits such as the way that he speaks of his younger sister Phoebe. Holden cares deeply for his sister and always speaks very highly of her. Holden is able to acquire a caring, loving relationship with
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