EN 102/ Basic Literary Analysis
Due date 03/15/2013
Playing the Game of Life
Depression, a common mental disorder, presents people with depressed moods, loss of interest and pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. (Encyclopedia of Public Health, 2008) Someone who deals with depression often realizes it is difficult to live an everyday normal life. The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D Salinger in 1951, narrates the life of a teenager, who is suffering from severe depression. The novel is a story about childhood and of finding one’s self in society. Initially published for adults, the book has become popular with adolescents for its themes of teenage confusion, angst, alienation, and rebellion. The story portrays a week of the seventeen-year-old, Holden Caulfield. The week is full of events and experiences that permanently change his life. His life experiences lead him to think that the only important this about his potential death or travel to the west. He emphasizes a general dislike for society and his pears by referring to people as “phonies.” His lack of will to socialize prompts him to find amplifies his depression. Catcher in the Rye is about a troubled teen trying to work his way through adolescence in a world peopled by phonies and finding his place in the society.
The novel opens with Holden directly speaking to the reader making clear that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital or sanitarium in southern California. The events he narrates take place in few days between the end of the fall school term and Christmas when he was seventeen years old. Holden’s journey begins on a Saturday in December just before school closes for Christmas break. He has been informed of his expulsion from Pency Prep School in Pennsylvania for failing all his classes except English. What worries him about being kicked out of school is his parents’ reaction, for...