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
PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental illness that displays symptoms of “intense yearning, difficulties to accept the loss, anger, and a sense that life is meaningless” (Spuij et al. 677). The main character of J.D Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, almost perfectly fits these symptoms, due to the heartbreaking loss of his brother, Allie. Based on this, and more examples from the novel, it is likely that Holden suffers from PTSD.
Holden has several insecurities that are displayed throughout the book that hint at his condition.
Denial and isolation is the first stage of grief. Holden constantly feels like he does not belong in school, at home, or life in general. Holden tells Sally, one of his friends:
Firstly, Holden’s PTSD derives from an event that happened in Holden’s past regarding his brother. He tells me that he had a brother named Allie who he was very close to, but sadly Allie passed do to Leukemia. Holden didn’t know how to deal with the death of
One of the hardships Holden must cope with is his inability to come to terms with death, in particular that of his younger brother, Allie. Holden seems to have experienced a
As Eugene McNamara stated in his essay “Holden Caulfield as Novelist”, Holden, of J.D. Salinger’s novel Catcher in the Rye, had met with long strand of betrayals since he left Pencey Prep. These disappointments led him through the adult world with increasing feelings of depression and self-doubt, leading, finally to his mental breakdown.
Holden reveals to the reader that he, “almost wished he was dead” how is the plight of his mental health shown?
Christopher Moore once said “If you think anybody is sane you just don’t know enough about them”. J.D Salinger continuously suggests that Holden Caulfield could be mentally ill, by intertwining the events happening in his life with the twisted and often macabre images and behaviors that Holden constantly exhibits throughout the novel The Catcher in the Rye. Holden appears to exhibit three very real and potentially dangerous mental disorders this is shown through Holden’s questionable actions for example burning matches just to watch them burn, having vivid images about killing or harming others, and his constant need to control others lives and that is just the tip of the questionable iceberg that is Holden. Could Holden really be classified
Throughout life, an individual may endure emotionally and physically straining moments causing the person to become downhearted, and or irate. These feelings are normal, but may however become a problem when these feelings prohibit someone from living a ‘normal’ life. An estimated 5.2 million American adults ages 18 to 54, or approximately 3.6 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have PTSD (Narrow, Rae, Regier). This purpose of this report is to prove whether or not Holden Caulfield, the main character of J.D. Salingers’s book The Catcher In The Rye, is depressed.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a known mental health condition triggered after experiencing or seeing a life-threatening event. It is very common around the world, and my new patient, Holden Caulfield, has this kind of disorder. A friend of mine recommended him, knowing that I will probably help him. Throughout our session, I could tell that Holden doesn’t have a normal mind. The death of his brother Allie and witnessing another death, his friend Jame Castle, who committed suicide, may have caused his PTSD. The outcome of experiencing all these tragic events changed his life. His relationship with his parents is vile, and he also does an appalling job in school. Reliving the past, detachment, and agitation, are the main symptoms of Holden’s PTSD.
When a person hears the phrase, post traumatic stress disorder, most of the time they imagine soldiers returning from war to their families. However, people are not always aware that this disorder occurs in seemingly normal people. In the novel, Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield seems to deal with this disorder. Looking at the surface of the novel, this is unclear. Therefore, this is an inferred trait in the novel. The reader must figure out for themselves that the protagonist retains the disorder. Holden Caulfield suffers from post traumatic stress disorder as he fits the description of symptoms and causes for his issues. Before pursuing Holden’s condition it is important to understand that the disorder can be extremely serious in some and less dramatic in others. This is determined by the cause of the disorder and how the person copes with it. There are several symptoms that clearly display this disorder and once again, it depends on the cause.
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.
Post-traumatic stress disorder most often occurs after a traumatic event that leaves the person emotionally and psychologically scarred. Some traumatic events that could result in the disorder include war, natural disasters, car crashes, death of a loved one, assault or abuse. In Holden Caulfield’s case, the death of his brother Allie, whom he grew very close to, was the cause of his pain and suffering. Holden’s case is not uncommon among those with the disorder according to helpguide.org who stated, “It (PTSD) can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma”(Smith). Although, post-traumatic stress disorder more commonly occurs in those
Throughout the novel, Holden is shown to be protecting over those he truly loves. Although a common symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is turning away from loved ones, with that, survivors may also be prone to be more protective over loved ones in fear. According to ‘Everyday Health’ and ‘The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the National Center for PTSD’, it is common that those affected feel guilty about not being able to protect their ones. “I was there for about half hour… bastard Stradlater was,” (Salinger 34). Holden has experienced so much trauma throughout his life, that he does not want Jane, someone of whom he is very close with, to experience what he has gone through. Holden fears that if Stradlater, Holden’s “secret slob”