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Overcoming Trauma In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye

711 words - 3 pages

Overcoming Trauma in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden is in a rest home, where he speaks about his past and discusses his thoughts and feelings of his memories. Holden tells about his life including his past experiences at many different private schools, most recently Pensey Prep, his friends, and his late brother Allie which led to Holden’s own mental destruction.
I believe that Holden Caulfield is mentally disturbed and shows many signs of it throughout the novel. Problems in Holden’s life that have led him to this rest home are the death of his brother Allie, his multiple failures throughout his academic career, and his distress about moving on in life. Holden deals with these problems by drinking and smoking throughout the novel. He also shows depression throughout the novel by being kicked out of multiple schools and being over-critical of people when he describes them. I feel that he is very disturbed and had not been able to deal with his problems before. Unfortunately his feelings such as the loss of Allie have been bottled up inside of him and he has never rectified his problems or talked about them, just simply ignored them. Holden Caulfield is mentally disturbed and would need to approach his issues if he had any desire of resolving his turmoil.
Holden has experienced clusters of severe trauma throughout his entire life. His brother Allie died of Leukemia a few years ago and Holden was so upset that he punched all of the windows out in his garage that night. Neither Holden, nor his family have yet to deal with the loss of Allie, which clearly affected Holden very much. Also Holden was a witness to James Castle’s suicide at a private school that he once attended. James Castle had been bullied and could no longer handle the situation, so he resorted to suicide by hurling himself out of a building window and falling to his death. Although Holden was not...

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