The Catcher in the Rye

500 Words2 Pages
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield has strange

behavioral tendencies. The main character, Holden, suffers from mental illness after suffering

from everything he has gone through. His mental illness is triggered from depression after his

brother, Allie, had passed away. Depression can be caused by many different things including a

loss or death, which is what Holden goes through in “Catcher in the Rye,” a novel written by J.D

Salinger. The protagonist; Holden Caulfield becomes seriously depressed to the point where he

cannot deal with people and everyday life around him. The author describes Holden as a person

that does not care about where he goes with his life, but the one thing that gets
…show more content…
He has to deal with his older brother D.B living in Hollywood and

Allie being dead. Holden is literally about to crash. Near the beginning as well as towards the

middle of the novel, he feels that he will disappear or fall into an abyss when he steps off a curb

to cross a street. Sometimes when this happens, he calls on his dead brother, Allie, for help (chap

21). Part of Holden’s collapse is due to him not being able to come to terms with death. The plot

in the story is when Holden doesn’t want to go back home after he gets kicked out of Pency

Prep. He instead goes to New York City to spend time there (Salinger, 60). This is mainly where

Holden is alone and wants someone to spend time with someone. However everywhere he goes,

his excuses are the same and he calls everyone a phony. For example when Holden is at Ernie’s

bar he calls the place phony because he wasn’t able to get alcohol and didn’t have anyone to be

with him (81). The real reasons behind all this is because he feels very alone and is suffering

from a severe case of depression.

Some readers have a drastically different understanding of Holden Caulfield’s behavior.

They suggest that he is a typical person struggling with normal teenage problems such as fitting

in, dealing with failure, and making friends. However, a closer analysis of Holden’s behavior

reveals that there is a psychological problem that lays beneath the surface of his

More about The Catcher in the Rye

Get Access