Catcher in the Rye

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Essay on The Catcher in the Rye

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Caulfield,

Holden seems to be having some issues not only with his personal life but also

with his social life. We have talked a couple of times, and the things that I have noticed

are that I believe the causes of issues are his loneliness, his out outlook on the world,

and people, and not being able to let go of the death of his brother Allie.

Holden seems to have a phobia called, autophobia which means the fear of

being alone. I believe he has this phobia because of all the signs he has shown for

example he says, “ I didn’t say anything. I was sort of afraid he’d get up and leave on me

if I didn’t shut up”(Salinger,145). Holden was talking to one of his old advisors when he

said this, and it shows that he would stop saying was he was saying just so he would not

get up and leave him alone. Another occasion where it shows that Holden is desperate

for company and does not want to be alone is when he calls Sally, who he really does

not like that much, but he prefers to be with someone than to be alone. “What’s the

matter? you don’t want to go with me?” (Salinger, 132). This is when Holden is asking

Sally if she wants to go runaway with him, and she refuses, showing that he is in need of

being with someone at all times. This is not healthy for Holden because it shows that he

right now he is not happy with his social life and is in need of people to be around him

to help him out or to just listen to what he has to say. This is when you as the parents of

Holden have to take action and talk to him, to let him know that he has people he could

count on.

The death of his brother, Allie hit Holden very strongly and it is evident in his

actions. In a sense he is looking for that special someone to really understand him like

Allie did. For example when he says, “What I did, I started talking, sort of loud, to Allie. I

do that sometimes when I get very depressed”(Salinger, 98). Not only does this show

how much he misses Allie, but also that he is depressed. Depression is a common

mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, lost of interest or pleasure,

feelings of guilt or low self-worth. Holden has shown many signs of being depressed and

I think he needs to be around people that care about him. As his parents I believe the

best option is to not send him to boarding schools because he obviously has shown that

he does not enjoy being in them and I think it is best that he stay with his sister phoebe

since they seem to have a very close relationship.

Holden’s outlook on the world and on people also shows that he is not happy

with his life. Holden is constantly criticizing people without knowing them at all. This

shows me that he is not at all happy with himself because usually when people

constantly criticize others it is because they are jealous of something that person has

that they don’t. For example, “He was also sort of a nasty guy. I wasn’t to crazy about

him, to tell you the truth”(Salinger,19). This was when Ackley came into his room, and

the first thing he did was judge him. Something that I have noticed is that Holden does

not judge the people he truly cares about like for example, his brother Allie, his sister Phoebe, or Jane. This tells me that he truly cares about these people and doesn’t like to

open up to new people. But when he rarely does open up to new people he lies. Holden

has shown the symptoms of having a disorder called, Mythomania which is also known

as a compulsive liar. Many times people lie to feel better of themselves, and that is one

of the reasons why Holden lies. He wants to feel better about himself and he also does

not want people knowing who he really is because In a sense he is afraid of what they

might think of him. One of the things that Holden does is he...
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