The Mental Health of Holden Caulfield

725 Words3 Pages
In the novel, Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is an example of a prosaic rich adolescent boy,with a pedestrian set of problems, but a psychoanalysis reveals that Holden has a plethora of atypical internal conflicts. Internal conflicts that other students at Pencey, such as Stradlater and Ackley, would not normally experience. Holden is not just abnormal, he has problems that other teenagers, including the students at Pencey, experience going through adolescence. An example of this is Holden's jealousy towards Stradlater when he finds out he is going on a date with Jane Gallagher, “Boy,was I getting nervous” (42). Every teenager has bouts of jealously especially about the opposite sex, and Holden is no different. Holden's rebellious nature, to an extent, is typical for a teenage boy. His rebellious nature of smoking when it is not allowed, “You weren't allowed to smoke in the dorm...I went right on smoking like a madman.” (41-42). Holden is also anxious about change, which again to an extent is normal, “Do you happen to know where they go, the ducks...”(60), and he has the right to be; change,especially during adolescence, is a terrifying but exciting ride into the unknown, and similar to other adolescents Holden is afraid but intrigued about the unknown. On the darker and more atypical side of Holden Caulfield's character is the alarming mental health issues. Holden Cauldfield sadly has a plethora of these types of internal conflicts. Holden Caulfield is a pathological liar, “ If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even if somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. “(16). Holden is also constantly changing his name throughout the novel. Holden is sel... ... middle of paper ... ...nts. “"I think I'm going blind. ... Mother darling, everything's getting so dark in here. ... Mother darling, give me your hand...”(21). Holden would've had a better chance of being a successful adolescence and not a failure if Allie had not succumb to leukemia at such a young age. In conclusion, Holden is more darker than your normal rich kid, who deep-rooted problems such as the death of his brother,molestation as child, neglect as an adolescent, a stunted mental maturation and the unwillingness to let go of his innocence and change for better of worse. Holden ends up out west in seemingly mental institution, not because he is normal but because of the severity of his mental health. Holden Caulfield is not and most kids at Pencey alienate him because of it so no, they do not feel the same way Holden did, or in the very least not to such a degree of severity.
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