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Holden’s Psyche In Catcher In The Rye By J.D. Salinger

659 words - 3 pages

The novel The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D. Salinger, depicts a boy named Holden Caulfield whose psyche ultimately impacts his mental state. Throughout the novel Holden’s mental state gradually becomes affected by this damaged psyche. He either demonstrates the id or the superego, and rarely his ego. Holden’s psyche appears in the id, superego, and ego forms.
The id, acts on impulses and wants instant gratification. This occurs when Holden has Sunny, a prostitute, come to his room. Holden tells Maurice, the elevator guy, “Okay,” I said. It was against my principles and all, but I was feeling so depressed I didn’t even think” (page 91). Holden felt so depressed that he wasn’t even sure what he agreed to and after agreeing he regretted it. Holden accepts Maurice’s offer of having a prostitute sent to his room without thinking first, which was an impulse that his brain had. The id also appears every time Holden drinks and smokes. Holden “…sat up in bed and smoked another cigarette. It tasted lousy. I must’ve smoked around two packs since I left Pencey” (page 100). The id is telling Holden to do the things adults do, in order for him to feel better. Holden’s id affects the text by causing him to do and say things without thinking them through. Although the id is depicted through the novel the psyche of the superego is equally shown.
The superego is an internal censer that makes moral judgments and operates on the morality principle in light of social pressures. Holden had Sunny in his room but decided not to have intercourse with her. Holden believed that Sunny was “…young as hell… she was around my age… she just didn’t know any better…It sounded like a real kid” (page 94).Holden sees Sunny as still very young and Holden can see how innocent she is. Holden’s superego is telling him the right thing to do, which in this case is not to have intercourse with...

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