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The Mental Health Of Holden Caulfield

888 words - 4 pages

In the novel, Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is an example of a prosaic rich adolescent boy,with a pedestrian set of problems, but a psychoanalysis reveals that Holden has a plethora of atypical internal conflicts. Internal conflicts that other students at Pencey, such as Stradlater and Ackley, would not normally experience.
Holden is not just abnormal, he has problems that other teenagers, including the students at Pencey, experience going through adolescence. An example of this is Holden's jealousy towards Stradlater when he finds out he is going on a date with Jane Gallagher, “Boy,was I getting nervous” (42). Every teenager has bouts of jealously especially ...view middle of the document...

Holden is extremely depressed and suicidal, “What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide.”(104). Holden suffers almost constant depression throughout the book. Holden might possibly suffer from Histrionic personality disorder as he craves for attention, “I'm an exhibitionist”(28), continuous longing for appreciation, which is shown by clearly when he has a prostitute sent to his room, “Don't you feel like talking for awhile?”(95), and his manipulative behavior, which is shown when he exploits the new elevator boy to take him to his apartment. Holden might also suffer from Antisocial personality disorder, both medical and public definition;as he has abnormal aggressive behavior towards Stardlater,is a pathological liar, has a unfounded sense of superiority, as in calling everyone a phony, using wit to manipulate Ernest's mother for no personable gain just the pleasure of doing it, has had child neglect from his parents, irresponsible work behavior and failure to learn from past mistakes as he has been expelled from 4 different boarding schools and has done nothing to prevent it from happening, and has had experienced child abuse, or more specifically molestation, “That kind of stuff's happened to me about twenty times since I was a kid.” (193). Holden had his last major mental maturation on July 18, 1946, the day his brother died of leukemia. Holden was then thirteen, and four years later--the time of the narrative--he is emotionally still at the same age, although he has matured into a lanky,gray-haired,six-foot adolescent. "I was sixteen...

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