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 from another private school for boys. This in the story is ironic for, Holden states, “’That sonuvabitch Hartzell thinks you’re a hot-shot in English, and he knows you’re my rommmate” (Salinger 28). Teacher’s think that Holden is good in school, but his mental issue affects him academically and in addition to his inability to deal with life. Salinger begins his novel with Holden explicitly stating, “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like…” (Salinger 1). Seeing Holden through a psychoanalytical point we can assume that his lousy childhood can be the cause of his feeling of being lost, repression, and his unstable emotions if depression and isolation. According to another psychologist that agrees to Freudian theory, Lacan states, “Human behavior is often something of puzzle, requiring concerted acts of investigation to discover root causes and multiple effects” (Hall 105). Holden’s mental disord... ... middle of paper ... ...mind is developed from an infant to an adult. As well, it describes what problems can be formed if anyone of them is harmed. Not only that, but as well states the order that it is formed. This is a great display because it can help anyone who is in need to learn about the mind in a psychoanalytical perspective. Garcia 9 "J.D. Salinger." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Nov 21 2013, 10:08 This biography of the author of The Catcher in the Rye really helps understand the point on why Salinger wrote it. This biography helped me connect similarities that he and the main character have. It as well explains what he goes through in his life and gives you an understanding of he too is psychoanalyzed. This article is a great display because it truly gives you the understanding of the Salinger and what he goes through in life and the connection it has with Holden.
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