The Catcher In The Rye Essay

1417 words - 6 pages

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is about a boy named Holden Caulfield and his struggle with life. Like any other teenager, he is simply looking for his place in the world. However, it is shown that Holden is no ordinary teenager for he displays many signs of depression. His depression seems to escalate throughout the novel. For example, many nights he has trouble sleeping, he also is quite the alcoholic and a heavy smoker, he doesn’t feed his body with the proper nutrients and he talks of committing suicide at various points in the novel. Holden feels he has been alienated his whole life and that after losing his brother Allie, there was really no place for him anywhere. Holden Caulfield is a complex character that is in need of some real therapy because the problems he faces are not those of a normal boy his age, but are more serious in that he’s really hurting himself and he is not nearly aware of these circumstances.Holden’s signs of depression are very strong throughout The Catcher in the Rye. One of these prominent signs are the fact that he hardly every sleeps. It is known that sleep deprivation is one of the major signs of depression. Holden finds it hard to sleep even late at night, most of the time he claims to not even be tired. He says, “It took me quite a while to get to sleep- I wasn’t even tired- but finally I did.” (104) Holden had a quarrel with Maurice that night about a prostitute and how Holden didn’t pay her enough money. Holden feels sorry for the woman because when she got there he didn’t feel like having sex with her, especially because before she showed up he wasn’t even sure he wanted to give up his virginity at all. Holden is indecisive about all the things he should have his mind made up on, which partly explains why he has such a problem sleeping. If Holden could simply clear his mind for once, he would be able to get a good night’s rest. However, there are always things running through his mind which prevent this. Holden has insomnia and if he were to have seen a psychiatrist he would be able to retain help for this problem. Holden needs to learn just how to relax without drugs and how to get his mind off everything that is keeping him awake.There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Holden is addicted to alcohol. Throughout the novel he spends most of his time drinking and smoking. The reason he is able to receive all these horrible things is due to his appearance. Holden has grey hair and is strikingly tall for his age; he uses these attributes to order himself drinks. Holden enjoys getting drunk and says, “Boy, I sat at that goddam bar till around one o’clock or so, getting drunk as a bastard. I could hardly see straight.” (150) Holden feels that he can drink a lot before he really gets drunk. He claims he has a terrific capacity and says, “I can drink all night and not even show it, if I’m in the mood.” (90) However, when...

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