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Struggle For Control Essay

1880 words - 8 pages

According to Nemours, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children’s health, one in eight teens go through a period of inner turmoil and depression. However, only 30% receive professional help. Boys who are depressed or suffering tend to have an even smaller likelihood of seeking help due to society’s gender expectations of boys keeping their emotions under control. In the novel, Catcher in the Rye, and in the movie, Igby Goes Down, the protagonists face feelings of confusion and anguish which ultimately affect the way they live and think. Holden and Igby’s identity crisis results from unresolved psychological issues triggered by traumatic events from the past; they return home to confront their families and their past in order to resolve their inner conflicts.
Due to traumatic events that impacted them and their families, Holden and Igby both grow up in destructive, unhappy homes that eventually cause them to become uncontrollable and twisted. Throughout the novel, Catcher in the Rye, Holden considers the world around him as a horrid place. He sees all the teens and adults around him and thinks of them as phony and fake. His view of children, on the other hand, is kinder. He believes kids, and the world they live in, are full of innocence and sincerity. His harsh view of the adult world may be in part due to his parents’ lack of action during the period of Allie’s death, when he felt great pain. Holden states, “I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it” (pg. 39). After Allie died, Holden lost his mind and took out his frustrations in a violent way that only ended up hurting himself. Holden did not know how to deal with his emotions, and his parents overcome by sadness was at a lost at what to do with Holden. His father was often absent in his life since work and money occupied his mind; his mother was filled with sorrow after Allie’s death and wasn’t able to get Holden through his ordeal. Holden’s older brother D.B., chose to move to Hollywood and earn money rather than work through the issues Allie’s death caused. On the other hand, Holden’s little sister was always with him, giving him love even when he felt undeserving. Holden relies on his past encounters with family as a guide and ideology, leading him to believe the worst in those around him. His hatred for the adult world causes him to spiral down a path of devastation, which may lead to “some kind of a terrible, terrible fall,” as predicted by Mr. Antolini, Holden’s teacher (pg. 186). Igby, similarly, despises the world he resides in. His unhappiness in life and his attitude of indifference towards everything hides the confusion he felt while growing up, after witnessing the mental breakdown of his father. Igby sees his father as a future version of himself, and so by witnessing his father’s mental breakdown and strange behaviors as a kid, he thinks he knows how his life will turn out to be. Igby stops caring...

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