The Catcher In The Rye, By J. D. Salinger

1497 words - 6 pages

Depression can come at many different times in your life and in many different ways. Dictionary.com defines clinical depression as: A depression so severe as to be considered abnormal, either because of no obvious environmental causes, or because the reaction to unfortunate life circumstances is more intense or prolonged than would generally be expected (Random House). Throughout the novel, “The Catcher in the Rye,” the reader is inside the head of the troubled and depressed main character and narrator, Holden Caulfield. We, as the readers are able to see every thought that Holden has throughout the novel. Many of Holden’s thoughts scream depression. Holden is an ideal example of how someone with clinical depression would behave, how he or she would feel, and also how he or she would reflect on certain detrimental situations they face throughout their lives.
Holden Caulfield is a young 16-year-old boy who is going through an incredibly rough time in his life. As mentioned earlier, Holden is the main character and the narrator of the famous novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” written by J.D. Salinger. The novel follows Holden while he goes on a “weekend adventure.” There are only 3 days of school left until everyone at Pencey Prep, the private school in which Holden attends, can go home for Christmas break. Holden, due to his lack of effort, has been told that he will not be attending Pencey Prep anymore. He was failing four of his five classes that semester (Salinger). The only reason he was not failing the fifth course was because he had gone over most of the work for English at the previous school that he was kicked out of. Holden believed it to be pointless for him to stay, so he decided he would gather up all of his money and go to New York City until Wednesday, the day that his parents were expecting him to come home.
There are many different signs and symptoms that people can show when they are depressed. They are not limited to, but include the following list provided by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health: persistent sad, anxious, “empty” mood; Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness; decreased energy, fatigue, or being “slowed-down;” difficulty sleeping, early-morning waking, or oversleeping; thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts; feelings of hopelessness or pessimism; Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities; difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; Appetite or weight changes; Restlessness or irritability (NIH). Holden shows many of the signs and symptoms of depression throughout the novel that are listed above. Holden even states several times that he is feeling depressed after certain thoughts or after occasions when he encounters a number of people.
Throughout the novel Holden behaves in a very peculiar and depressed manner. Holden does not act like most people would picture a 16-year-old boy to act. Holden actively lies, smokes...

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