Holden Caulfield Essay

1393 words - 6 pages

Holden seemed hesitant to talk about his overall life, but began by telling me about what happened to him around last Christmas, before he had to "take it easy". After careful examination of the subject, Holden Caulfield, it has been determined that he suffers from passive aggressive personality disorder and shows signs of moderate depression. Holden shows many of the signs of these disorders.These signs include the following. Pervasive pattern of passive resistance to demands for adequate social and occupational performance. The resistance is expressed indirectly rather than directly. This resistance is expressed indirectly through such maneuvers as procrastination, dawdling, stubbornness, intentional inefficiency, and "forgetfulness". Often time people suffering from this disorder obstruct the efforts of others by failing to do their share of the work. Often people with this disorder are dependent and lack self-confidence. Typically, they are pessimistic about the future, but have no realization that their behavior is responsible for their difficulties. Signs of depression are loss of interest or pleasure in all or almost all, activities, appetite disturbance, change in weight, sleep disturbance, decreased energy, feelings of worthlessness or excessive inappropriate guilt. People who are depressed often times have difficulty thinking or concentrating. They have recurrent thoughts of death, and suicidal ideation.The subject began by giving details of his life that indicate that he is pursuing an aimless and self-destructive path. He was expelled from school for failing several classes (pg. 5) and essentially describes himself as a perpetual failure (pg. 2). Holden takes a complete disregard for others. His self-destruction nature makes him unable to grasp the consequences of his actions. When he loses the fencing equipment on the trip to New York, he is unable to comprehend that his action was irresponsible. Instead, he focuses on how he feels his mistake, which he insists is not his fault, is humorous (pg. 3). Holden is in many ways a typical teenager, skeptical of all authority but has an unpleasant attitude.Holden displays contempt for nearly every person he mentions and all of the actions they undertake. The one value that he tends to support is authenticity, although he seems to have no real definition of what it is. Although he finds Selma Thurmer's failed attempts to artificially better her appearance, his greatest compliment about the headmaster's daughter is that she portrays her father honestly (pg. 3). Holden's claims that he is the "most terrific liar" one could meet is a fitting statement, for his delusions extend beyond making others believe his deceptions (pg. 16). Rather, it is clear that Holden's ability to lie is obvious in his own sense of self-delusion. Continuing to berate others for phoniness, Holden cannot recognize the same sense of fakeness within himself. Holden is extremely suspicious of all around him, particularly...

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