The whole book is set as a flashback of Holden's past year. When he starts narrating the story, he mentions that he got "pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy". This says that Holden has had a tough year, with a breakdown, he is in some kind of place where he's taking it easy. His previous diction/word choice gives us hints that he might actually be in a mental hospital(words like madman). He describes the place as 'crumby' and also says that his brother, D.B., visits him every weekend. And, at the very end of the book, last chapter (26), Holden says, "...this one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if I'm going to apply myself when I go back to school next September." 'Psychoanalysis' is, according to FreeDictionary, " The method of
From the beginning of the book the reader can interpret that Holden is a person who seemingly likes to be detached from society. He isolates himself from the football game and instead decides to stand in solitude upon a hill, looking down at all those below him. As he strives to find a goodbye to Pencey Academy, one can see that this is not a new experience for him, as he divulges the details of his mobile past, jumping from one school to the next.
Holden’s depression about his brother’s death, affects his personal life. This matters because it explains why Holden always acts so negative in the book. These feelings are more remorse than the “normal” person. The book also goes heavily detail in these emotions, which could persuade the reader to feel these same emotions about others. Holden gets so wrapped up in all of his emotions, that he begins to critique others around him, even the people who are trying to help
In the first chapter of this novel, we get introduced to the protagonist and narrator of the novel, Holden Caufield, from a rest home in which he has been sent for therapy. He refuses to talk about his early life, although he does explain that his older brother “D.B” sold out to writing for Hollywood. His story and breakdown begins in the school of Pencey Prep, a boarding school set in Pennsylvania. The setting for the early chapters in the narration is his "terrible" school, to which he describes the atmosphere to be “as cold as the December air on Thomsen Hill”. Holden’s student career at Pencey Prep has been destroyed by his refusal to apply himself. We know this after Holden explains he failed four of his five subjects, passing only English. Due to his lack of effort and determination, he was forbidden to return to the school after the term. The Saturday before Christmas vacation began, Holden overlooked the football field, where Pencey usually
Holden is unable to accept realities of life because of his negative personality. He claims that many people are phony and that they try to do things to make them look better than they are. Holden also thinks of many things as depressing. “It was really nice sightseeing, if you know what I mean. In a way, it was sort of depressing, too, because you kept wondering what the hell would happen to all of them” (p. 123). Holden always finds a down side to a situation. He fails to recognize the good sides of life, and this prevents him from seeing advantages in adulthood that are not present in his life.
Holden’s contempt for adults goes deeper than teen angst or a need to rebel. Rebellion is done out of a need for attention, however in Holden’s case he acts upon a fear and unresolved childhood trauma. Throughout the novel, we see our character Holden bouncing around denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Holden lost his brother to leukemia; Holden was 13, while Allie was 11. Holden was left devastated. At the beginning of this book we see Holden in isolation watching the football game on his own atop a hill after a long disappointing day in New York. Holden tells us about when he found out about Allie’s death, and in a fit of rage punched the windows out of the garage of their summer home, breaking his hand with the desire to punch the car windows out. Holden was unable to reconcile the loss of Allie. He missed the funeral because of his accident and continues to not visit the grave because of his denial of the situation. Holden used bargaining when he asked Allie to catch him in his fall through depression. Holden perceived the children of the rye as falling, while he was the only one actually falling with no one to catch him. Throughout the entire novel except in short bits, Holden claims to be depressed and hates being around those with less than himself. Finally, at the end of the book, Holden reaches an acceptance that he can’t control everything and life continues. He has to let go and allow others to reach for that carousel's golden ring even if they do fall along the
Holden's disconnection from his family and friends causes an isolation that then leads to the deep depression expressed in the novel as “his great fall”. Sending him to boarding school portrays the physical and emotional distance that Holden faces with his parents. After the death of his younger brother it is implied that Holden displayed the tendencies of a distraught teneager. By “flunking four subjects and not applying myself and all.(6))” Yet instead of dealing with the issues of their problematic son they instead choose to send him away to boarding school as a means of not having to have that problem. Holden is so far disconnected from his parents emotionally and physically that it becomes a sure fire way for him to lead the life of a
The many red flags seen in Holden throughout the book such as not sleeping or eating, excessive drinking, and wanting to commit suicide is seen in many teenagers around the world. Holden’s experiences can teach people to reach out to those showing signs of depression or those who are depressed to reach out to those who care about you to get help. While reading this novel I experienced great sympathy for Holden because someone who is desperately needing that help deserves and needs to get
In J. D Salinger 's novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist, Holden, goes through many hardships in his journey to self-knowledge. In the beginning, Holden has to deal with being kicked out of school and not having any place to call home. He is also struggling with the unfortunate tragedy of the death of his beloved younger brother Allie. At the same time, Holden is trying to deal with growing up and accepting the adult world. Throughout the novel Salinger addresses the conflicts faced by a young man struggling with the trials and tribulations of growing up while also confronting personal loss and loneliness along the way.
The Catcher in the Rye is about a young boy named Holden Caulfield who is going
He is not intensely preoccupied with academic achievement like many more modern teenagers, having failed out of several prestigious preparatory schools, but he is clearly intelligent and tends to dwell on“heavy” topics like death and loss of innocence. His cynicism and sensitivity, in addition to the trauma he experiences from losing his brother Allie, suggest that he has depression or another untreated mental illness, an interpretation which is common among readers and supported by Holden’s visit with a psychotherapist at the end of the novel. Despite the risks he faces through having an untreated mental illness, shown when he is warned that he is “riding for some kind of a terrible, terrible fall” through self-destructive behavior, the conformist culture and social niceties of the 1950s prevented him from being able to discuss his thoughts for a large portion of the novel. (186) This culture, specifically the “phony” prep schools, is clearly toxic for Holden and likely contributed heavily towards his negative mental state, and therefore the negative image he often has of
An underpinning theme to the novel is identity, at such a formative stage in life we all look for a sense of self. And at the foundation of Holden’s individuality is his constant sense of loneliness and anti-authoritarian temperament. Like every adolescent, he is on the cusp of adulthood, and therefore confronted with the pursuit of identity. The motif of loneliness is due to Holden’s inability to find balance in belonging and being unique. He is
Holden is overwhelmed by change, and it leads him to prefer things that stay the same or do not change. We see that when Holden goes to the museum that he realizes that the only thing that ever changes is the people. At the museum the exhibits never
Throughout the novel Holden is rejected and exploited by the society around him. As he is conflicted with himself to find a purpose in life he constantly tries to connect with a superficial society. The ongoing failure and fake personas he meets adds to his depression and cynicism. But instead of facing the problems by growing up and to move on Holden uses this negativity and isolation to protect him. Holden tries show that he is better than everybody else as this is the little stability he has left. When in reality Holden is just scared of the interaction of people because they just submerge him with complications he doesn 't know not yet how to deal with. Holden not being be able to cope with the idea of growing up adds to his loneliness which is the core of his pain. When his encounters first interaction in the novel, Holden Caulfield is an uncaring outcast who sees no motivation in life. As he says to Mr. Spencer, he feels trapped on “the other side of life” (Salinger). Holden constant attempt to fit into society is hidden because of his detachment to people. His only stability right now is to search for his own individuality and to face adulthood himself. That is why
He drinks, he smokes and rebel against both his teachers and adults. Holden is a very negative person and is constantly trashing other people, if not he is lying to them. He likes calling people ‘phonies’, even tough he acts like a phony himself. And this is his hefty scare, he is terrified of growing up, yet he realises it is time for his body is changing and turning him into a man. Holden has had an uncomplicated life if you disregard away from his brother’s death. He comes from a good family, has never lacked anything and has agreeable opportunities. An instead of using this to his advantage, he gets sucked down into a pessimistic and sad vortex. He never feels at home anyplace or feels a strong connection to people. Rebelling is an ordinary thing to go through in your adolescence and Holden has it bad. He is indeed a ‘rebel without a