Free Essays - Holden Caulfield Needs Logotherapy

Free Essays - Holden Caulfield Needs Logotherapy

Length: 643 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Catcher in the Rye - Holden Caulfield Needs Logotherapy


Throughout the book Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, a boy who does not know his place in life, illustrates the human need for logotherapy.  Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, wrote "Mans search for meaning", in which he describes his experiences and ways of resisting the efforts of dehumanization in the holocaust.  In Viktor Frankl's writing he delineates Logotherapy, which are three principles of mankind. The main character in Catcher in the Rye is Holden Caulfield, he is an unstable young man, who wanders around New York for three days, without knowing where to go or what do. Holden Caulfield would benefit if he applied Logotherapy to his everyday life.


The first principle of logotherapy states that's man has an inborn will to meaning,  "We seek to live not only for ourselves, but to contribute something of worth to other people and to the world we live in."(370) Holden Caulfield rarely shows this trait, but he does reveal it seldomly to people he does not know for example when he says to a cab driver,  "You know those ducks in that lagoon right near central park? That little lake? By any chance do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over?∦"(60) This exhibits that Holden cares for some things, which means he has a will to meaning somewhere inside of him, he just needs to find it, like one of his teachers says, "∦but I can very clearly see you dying nobly, for some highly unworthy cause"(188)  In this quote, Mr. Antolini is telling Holden that he believes he will do something worthy with his life, but it will not be something very useful.


Man has free will acts as the second aspect of logotherapy.  Viktor Frankl states, " Man's freedom is no freedom from conditions but rather freedom to take a stand on whatever conditions might confront him"(371) Holden Caulfield sometimes shows free will, "∦I couldn't think of a room or a house or anything to describe∦So what I did, I wrote about my brother Allies baseball mitt."(38) This shows he can think for himself and that he does not just do what people tell him to do.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essays - Holden Caulfield Needs Logotherapy." 22 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Role of Logotherapy and the Existential Gap in Addiction Essay

- Ravaging the country is a diagnosable addiction in which laptops are drug dealers and online communities are the enslaving substances. Internet Addiction, otherwise referred to as IA, is one of the most quickly spreading addictions in today’s population, and is not a compulsion that is very well comprehended by the general public (Buckenmeyer). This addiction to that which is virtual and has no real emotional connection is thought to be the result of social isolation, and a feeling of meaninglessness....   [tags: internet addiction, logotherapy, isolation]

Research Papers
1204 words (3.4 pages)

Holden Caulfield Is A Troubled Teenager Essay

- Holden Caulfield is a troubled teenager overwhelmed by the difficulties of life and the new responsibilities he has to take on, along with his disturbing and traumatizing past. Holden 's struggles grow to be unbearable, leading to major mental breakdowns and growing distrust in society and people - even close friends - forcing him to retreat to a mental rehabilitation institution to recover. Holden 's mental instability is a direct result of the incident at Elkton Hills and is predominant during the times of Allie 's death, his summer with Jane Gallagher, his stay with Mr....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield]

Research Papers
1800 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Viktor Frankl and the Development of Logotherapy

- Viktor Emil Frankl was born on March, 26th 1905, at Czeringassa 7, in Leopoldstadt, in Vienna Austria, where Sigmund Freud and Alfred Alder also grew up (Klingberg, 2014). He was the middle child out of three children. His older brother, Walter was two and a half years older, and his younger sister, Stella, was four years younger. His mother was Elsa Frankl, was a polish woman from Prague with a gentle manner. His father, Gabriel Frankl, had been a hard working man who was the Director of Social Affairs (Redsand, 2006)....   [tags: Biography, Psychology]

Research Papers
1814 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about Logotherapy versus Traditional Psychoanalysis

- 1. What does the term logotherapy mean. Break the word down and describe. To begin to understand logotherapy, one must look at the origin of the word. The prefix, “logos” comes from the Ancient Greek term that is “meaning”. Of course, “therapy” is the treatment of disease or disorders through rehabilitation. As the term suggests, logotherapy focuses on finding the meaning of human existence, as well as man's search for meaning as a means to rehabilitate an individual. Logotherapy attempts to reveal meaning in one’s life because it is believed that this is the driving force in humans....   [tags: Dr. Viktor Frankl, psychological therapy theories]

Research Papers
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Nutrition Education Needs Of A Gluten Free Diet

- A. Nutrition Education Needs The intervention targets parents and children who are on, or making the transition to, a gluten-free diet (GFD). Gluten is the storage protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and grain hybrids, and the intolerance to these proteins can cause an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease (CD). A gluten-free diet is the cornerstone treatment for CD and implies a strict and lifelong elimination of gluten from the diet. A GFD is the best treatment for people with CD, but it is common for immuno-sufficient people to also be on the diet....   [tags: Gluten-free diet, Coeliac disease, Nutrition]

Research Papers
1578 words (4.5 pages)

Viktor Frankl and his Theory of Logotherapy Essay

- In September of 1942, Viktor Frankl was arrested in Vienna and taken to one of the many Nazi death camps. Frankl was working on a manuscript which was confiscated from him in a move to Auschwitz. In this manuscript entitled, The Doctor and the Soul, Frankl had began his work on a theory he would later call logotherapy. The term logotherapy is derived from the Greek word logos, which means meaning. According to logotherapy, the striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man (Frankl 121)....   [tags: The Doctor and the Soul, Frankl]

Research Papers
1202 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Holden Caulfield is Lost in The Catcher in the Rye

- In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the leading character, Holden Caulfield, emerges as an adolescence lost in his own private world of pain and suffering, yet ostensibly he was able to provide himself with all the luxuries and splendors of American society. Holden is presented as a failure who struggles to stay in at least one of the four schools he's been kicked out of. This can reflect that Holden can't manage to get by in life. Throughout the book, it is obvious that Holden is running from so many things such as growing up, reality and people who are phonies....   [tags: catcher in the rye, holden caulfied]

Research Papers
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Special Needs Children Overcome Obstacles

- Some people may look at a person with special needs and see disabilities. Some may feel nothing but sympathy, while others, through the lack of knowledge, overlook these amazing individuals completely. I am one of the lucky ones that not only has experienced having a person of special needs in their life, but to also have the insight to realize the impact of the life lessons that my friend Jeff Geis has taught me. Jeff, born with Down’s syndrome, has overcome obstacles in his life that most of us cannot even imagine....   [tags: Special Needs]

Research Papers
902 words (2.6 pages)

Logotherapy Essay example

- Logotherapy Logotherapy, practiced and described by Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, is a form of psychotherapy that requires individuals to assume responsibility for their own existence to search for meaning. Dr. Frankl, himself a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, developed this psychotherapeutic method as a means to endure the horror and suffering he witnessed and endured in the camp. Dr. Frankl believed that no matter what degree of human suffering he witnessed in the camp, one lost everything except, “the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Ironically, this same ultimate freedom is recogni...   [tags: Psychotherapy, Health]

Free Essays
317 words (0.9 pages)

Revealing Caulfield Essay

- In Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the physical and psychological unraveling of the narrator, Holden Caulfield, is related through his inarticulate, but sincere voice. Salinger weaves Holden's narration in a way that reflects the young character's age through his words and thoughts. At 16 years young, Holden's narration is often pessimistic, at times enthusiastic, and above all else contradictory. The same could be said about his thoughts concerning the topic of sex, which is a growing source of anxiety for the 16 year old....   [tags: American Literature]

Research Papers
793 words (2.3 pages)

Related Searches

  Sometimes, Holden uses his free will in a negative way.  "∦I feel some concern for my future, all right∦. But not too much I guess. Not too much I guess."(14) He does not care about his future or know where it is leading him.


The last tenet of logotherapy states that life has meaning.  Holden does not know the meaning of his life, nor does he care. Throughout the book a few people try to tell him that he is not headed anywhere because of his choices in life.  Mr. Antolini says to him, "I don't want to scare you, but I can very clearly see you dying nobly, on way or another, for some highly unworthy cause∦"(188)  He tells Holden that he does not think he will do anything good with his life if he does not improve his habits. Also Holden's sister, Phoebe tries to make him realize he has no direction. "∦You don't like any schools. You don't like a million things. You don't."(169)  Holden will not agree with this statement, but he does not even end up telling her something he likes, besides Allie, his dead brother.


Holden Caulfield, portrayed by J.D. Salinger would benefit greatly from Logotherapy, which are principles derived by Viktor Frankl.  Holden Caulfield hardly uses the first aspect of logotherapy, a man has an inner will to meaning, although not in front of his friends.  As the book goes on we see that he uses free will, the second principle often.  The last is life has meaning, which Holden does not really apply to his life.
Return to