Mental Analysis on Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger´s The Catcher in the Rye

Mental Analysis on Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger´s The Catcher in the Rye

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Today in the United States, according the Nation Institute of Mental Health, , almost one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year, and one in seventeen adults are suffering from mental disorders that can be considered serious, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, panic disorder, and post traumatic stress disorders (Health Care Service Corporation) (The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America). J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, provides the narrative of a young adult, Holden Caulfield, who I believe shows many symptoms of several different mental disorders. In this essay, I will be providing examples straight from The Catcher in the Rye that support my theory of Holden Caulfield’s lack of mental stability.
Holden Caulfield demonstrates extreme and inconsistent behaviors throughout his narrative, describing many “madman” experiences and feelings that occurred the week after he left his last school, Pencey Prep. The fact that he is failing out of school, which he has apparently done several times, is a hint that there is more than likely something off about Holden, either mentally or emotionally. Holden tells us he is smart, which we are not given much evidence of, other than the composition essay about his brother’s baseball mitt that he writes for his roommate and the fact that he does very well in English. At first we cannot know if he is doing poorly in school because he does not understand it or if he just does not want to do it. Later in the book, though, it becomes apparent that if Holden does not like a teacher or an assignment, he simply will not do the assignments, which is why he is failing. This, however, is one of th...


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...teen, but a poor sufferer of a mental illness he didn’t know how to handle.



Works Cited

Health Care Service Corporation. Serious Vs. Non-Serious Mental Illness. 10 August 2013. blueaccess. Web-site. 9 November 2013. .
Mills, Nicolaus. What Salinger Tells us About Caring for Veterans. 1 March 2011. Cabel Network News, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Web-site. 11 November 2013. .
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. Print.
The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. n.d. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . Web-site. 9 November 2013. .

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