The Protagonist’s Psychiatric Illness in Catcher in the Rye

1119 Words Feb 16th, 2018 4 Pages
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is an emotional disorder that creates unstable behavior, as well as stress in an individual. Many readers have psychoanalyzed the protagonist character, Holden Caulfield, in J.D. Salinger’s 1948 novel, The Catcher in the Rye with this disorder. Holden is a seventeen year old boy born and raised in New York City, New York who begins this novel by telling a story of around last Christmas when he spent his weekend in New York. Throughout the novel, Holden expresses a rebellious attitude toward the world, due to the severe discontent he feels about his life. By psychoanalyzing Holden Caulfield through his first person narration, it becomes evident that he has Borderline Personality Disorder caused by his childhood trauma, neglect from his parents, and his self-destructive behavior.
Originally, it was apparent that Holden’s Borderline Personality Disorder was caused by the initial trauma caused in his life. Holden’s harrowing childhood commenced when his younger brother, Allie, died of Leukemia. He often struggles internally with coming to terms with the fact that Allie is dead, and seems to bring out Allie’s spirit in objects. One item in particular would be Allie’s baseball mitten, which Holden admits, “to have it with [him],…

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