Psychoanalysis of Holden Caulfield

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Psychoanalysis is a psychoanalytical theory and therapy that aims to treat mental disorders by investigating the conscious and unconscious elements in a human mind by bringing fears to the conscious mind. According to Sigmund Freud, “The unconscious silently directs the thoughts and behavior of the individual” (Freud 95). Holden Caulfield, the main character in J.D Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is sixteen years old and does not act his own age for he is stuck in his own private world, filled with pain and suffering. In the novel, Holden can be observed through a psychoanalytical view, which provides the reader a clear understanding of his unconscious mind. Holden is displayed as a troubled and foolish teenager who is flunking…show more content…
Then, when the dough runs out, I could get a job somewhere and we could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, we could get married or something. I could chop all our own wood in time in the wintertime and all. Honest to God, we could have terrific time! Wuddaya say? C’mon! Wuddaya say? Will you do it with me? Please” (Salinger 132). Holden’s id is in the sense of having someone by his side and is in a rush to have the feeling of a buddy. The explanation for his love of a companion is because of his brother Allie. Holden is denied by Sally. As for Salinger, he got married but his union with her was a short one, just eight months long. He married a second time in 1955 to Claire Douglas. Salinger as well had a desire to find someone else to be his companion because in just eight short months he finds someone new. Through Freud’s explanation of when the desired need is not available, the id creates and image of the desire as a substitution. Later, the mind is required to cope with frustration due to the default substitution. This is the stage that, Freud calls the ego. Holden does not have the ego for he struggles on facing the fact that his companion is in a better place and forever gone. Sadly, Holden is not able to develop the full understanding of the ego and with that he is far from developing the final mental entitles of Freud’s theory which is superego. With Holden’s lack of development he doesn’t reach the superego,
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