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Psychological Battle In Jd Salinger´S A Catcher In The Rye

826 words - 4 pages

The psychological battle of Holden Caulfield in the Catcher in the Rye, serves as the basis for the entire novel. Salinger's portrayal of Holden, which includes incidents of depression, a nervous breakdown, impulsive spending, sexual exploration, vulgarity, and other erratic behavior, attributes to the genuine nature of the novel. Salinger creates a real, relatable story by focusing on Holden´s thoughts and impressions of the events described in the novel, rather than the events themselves. The novel shows that the plot of the story isn’t that important in terms of importance, the Catcher in the Rye focuses more on what Holden thinks and how he thinks, creating an interesting, relevant story based on the psyche of a single character.
Holden’s thoughts indicate a personal struggle with depression, which strongly influences him. In many instances throughout the novel, Holden relays to the reader a feeling of deep sadness; this depression is often unreasonable and triggered by minor events and situations. When he explains his feelings about a prior headmaster’s “phony” and “long-winded” discussions with well-built and well-dressed parents, it makes him “so depressed [he] go[es] crazy” (19). His feelings about the headmaster reveal that he is prone to emotional overreaction and depressive thoughts. Holden even contemplates committing suicide several times. After a night where he did not have any particular luck in socializing, he feels so depressed that he wishes he were dead. This is pivotal because it is evident that his depression and emotions influence his thoughts. This becomes interesting and relevant to the reader because they can relate to the influential power their emotions have, and they can watch throughout the novel Holden falling deeper and deeper into his own mind.
Holden’s constant attachment to unrealistic ideas indicates his struggle with hyper tendencies and an exaggerated view of reality. Struggling to remain on topic, Holden has impulsive and dramatic bursts of insight and ideas that he does not give proper thought to before presenting them. When Holden becomes obsessed with an impulsive plan of his he can’t control his excitement consistently claims that “[he] wasn’t even screaming” when talking about his idea, which the reader can assume to be false because even sane people talk louder when they’re excited. (172). When he wants run away with Sally to a different state she chides him by telling him “we’re both practically children” and that they would “starve to...

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