Holden's Minde Essay

1936 words - 8 pages

In the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a very complex and interesting person to take into consideration and psychoanalyze. His various traits make him a different person from the rest of the phonies in the world. Holden says, “All you do is make a lot of dough and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and drink Martinis and look like a hot-shot. How would you know you weren't being a phony? The trouble is, you wouldn't.” What Holden doesn’t realize is that he is a phony as well. This is ironic because he says you don’t know if you are a phony, but he is. Salinger’s life is reflected in the book, there are many similarities to his life and Holden’s. Holden is a perfect example of Freud’s theory on personality who he believed, “The personality consists of three mental entities: the id, the ego, and the superego” (Nevid 470). Holden has all these entities and he shows them in various ways. Holden is mentally unstable. He is lonely and depressed, fantasy worlds, a bad family relationship and isolates himself. He is a very complex person.
Holden is a very lonely young man; he doesn’t have any true friends. Holden talks to the people he lives with in his dormitory but thinks that they are all phonies. Salinger is alike with Holden as well, “Despite his slim body of work and reclusive lifestyle, Salinger was one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century” (Biography.com).He has an argument with old Stradlater and went to sleep in Ackley’s room, they talked for a while but Holden decided to go somewhere else. “All of a sudden, I decided what I'd really do; I'd get the hell out of Pencey-right that same night and all. I mean not wait till Wednesday or anything. I just didn't want to hang around anymore. It made me too sad and lonesome” (Salinger 51). Holden is alone, his companions do not treat him well because he as well does not treat them right. One problem Holden has is he thinks he is better than the rest of his phony friends. Psychologist David Elkind theorizes, “Adolescents often show a form of egocentric thinking in which they believe their concerns and needs should be as important to others as they are to themselves” (Nevid 393). This definitely concerns Holden since Ackley didn’t care for what Holden was talking about he decided to leave to NYC. Holden acted on his impulses and didn’t think things through. Salinger lived in New York like Holden did. Salinger and Holden didn’t talk to many people they both stayed to themselves. When Holden arrives to New York he walks into a phone booth, “I couldn’t think of anybody to call up…So I ended up not calling anybody” (Salinger 59). Holden goes through a long list of his contacts but ends up not calling anybody. So instead he goes to the cabs and tells the driver where he wants to go. Salinger was very reclusive and left New York and lived in a secluded place in New Hampshire. Psychologist Albert Bandura, “Self-efficacy is the belief in...

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