Struggle for Control

Powerful Essays
According to Nemours, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children’s health, one in eight teens go through a period of inner turmoil and depression. However, only 30% receive professional help. Boys who are depressed or suffering tend to have an even smaller likelihood of seeking help due to society’s gender expectations of boys keeping their emotions under control. In the novel, Catcher in the Rye, and in the movie, Igby Goes Down, the protagonists face feelings of confusion and anguish which ultimately affect the way they live and think. Holden and Igby’s identity crisis results from unresolved psychological issues triggered by traumatic events from the past; they return home to confront their families and their past in order to resolve their inner conflicts. Due to traumatic events that impacted them and their families, Holden and Igby both grow up in destructive, unhappy homes that eventually cause them to become uncontrollable and twisted. Throughout the novel, Catcher in the Rye, Holden considers the world around him as a horrid place. He sees all the teens and adults around him and thinks of them as phony and fake. His view of children, on the other hand, is kinder. He believes kids, and the world they live in, are full of innocence and sincerity. His harsh view of the adult world may be in part due to his parents’ lack of action during the period of Allie’s death, when he felt great pain. Holden states, “I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it” (pg. 39). After Allie died, Holden lost his mind and took out his frustrations in a violent way that only ended up hurting himself. Holden did not know how to deal with his emotions, and his parents overc... ... middle of paper ... before is lessened and it feels as if he is on a road to recovery. Holden and Igby both face similar journeys of anguish and uncertainty, but realize they can only heal their pain through confrontation with their families. In general, the bildungsroman focused on Holden and the movie on Igby show the long process of finding yourself and purpose in life. The long journeys they face represent the long journey many other teens face during their respective times, and even now in the present. Many teens are facing bouts of depression and their journey to get well looks similar to the ones Holden and Igby face. The message of the novel and movie is that the transition from childhood to adulthood can be a long and perilous journey, but every teen has to face it and move on in life. Works Cited Salinger, J D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print.
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