Themes Of Holden Caulfield

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Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is rich with themes indicative of any number of responses. Salinger’s use of theme holds an even ability to demonstrate the duality of the main character, Holden Caulfield. In many instances, Holden’s negative attributes overshadow those which are positive. This literary decision on the part of Salinger indicates purposeful highlighting of seemingly negative themes while simultaneously bringing light to the positive points Salinger raises. Holden’s behaviours are dictated by his personality traits, which are all based in Salinger’s themes. In Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger argues in favor of innocence, isolation, and the treatment of mental illness.
Holden Caulfield is one of the most innocent teenage
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He demonstrates to us just how ill he is, although he never confirms to the reader what illness or illnesses he suffers from. After talking about Allie’s death, Holden says this: “...I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. I even tried to break all the windows on the station wagon we had that summer, but my hand was already broken and everything by that time, and I couldn 't do it” (39). Holden, during a time of grief, became so enraged that he broke every window in the garage and attempted to break the windows of the car. This could be indicative of a myriad of illnesses, even something as major as IED. He gets violent on more than one occasion in the book. He also shows clear signs of anxiety disorders and depression. Salinger shows through writing Holden that when mental illnesses go untreated, they can cause someone to become a danger to themselves or others. Even if it is not directly stated, it is clear that Salinger uses Holden to demonstrate the need for proper diagnosis and treatment of mental
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