Catcher in the Rye: Psychological Profile

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, Friendship, The Catcher in the Rye Pages: 8 (3120 words) Published: March 18, 2002
Psychological Profile: Holden Caulfield
Part One:
The patient is Holden Caulfield, a sixteen-year-old teenage boy. Caulfield's appearance is tall for his age and surprisingly has quite a few gray hairs at the age of sixteen. Holden comes from an upper-middle class family. His family has enough money to support Holden with many luxuries including skates and expensive suitcases. It appears that Mr. and Mrs. Caulfield aren't there to talk, care, and be there for Holden, which seems to drive Holden away from his family. However, he has an intimate bond with his younger siblings, who embody innocence and youth. The death of his brother Allie has left a large scar on Holden. He has a cherished and intimate relationship with his young and innocent sister, Phoebe. Holden has been to many schools and has been kicked out of many schools. Holden is an intellectual teenager, who refuses to apply himself, and thus goes from school to school. Some of the important and affecting moments in Holden's life are death of Allie, suicide of a close friend, D.B. "selling out", and his summer with Jane Gallagher. Allie, Holden's younger brother died of leukemia recently and has caused stress upon the patient. Also witnessing the death of once close friend traumatized the patient. The fact that Holden's friend committed suicide wearing some of his clothing, placed even more strain on the patient. Another factor surround Holden is his brother D.B. leaving him and his family to "sell out to Hollywood" disturbed Holden. Lastly, the summer he had spent with a close and intimate friend, Jane Gallagher had added fuel to fire, which drove Mr. Caulfield to this institution and require professional help from our clinic.

Part Two:
The patient, Holden Caulfield, perceives himself a "madman". Holden proclaims he is a madman for his actions and thoughts. With the analysis of Holden Caulfield's description of the weekend leading up to his enlistment of professional care for chronic depression, Holden reveals his thoughts on being convinced he was a madman. One incident from Holden's description explicitly gives Holden's view of himself. The incident in reference is his date with Sally Hayes. Holden proposed to Sally to run away to Massachusetts and live together away from the world. In actuality Holden could not tolerate Sally and her "phoniness", but he still made the suggestion to her. Upon his own analysis, he thinks he is a complete lunatic for having mixed thoughts about people: "She (Sally) wouldn't have been anybody to go with. The terrible part, though, is that I meant it when I asked her. That's the terrible part. I swear to God, I'm a madman" (Salinger 134). Upon the analysis of Holden's quote, you can clearly see that he perceives himself to be different from the rest of the world and thinks because of that he is a madman. Holden's self-perception of being a madman is because he cannot relate with anybody else. Because he can't compare thoughts with them, he assumes that since nobody expresses these thoughts, he is a madman.

Holden recognizes and perceives to be alienated from the adult world thus causing himself to believe he is depressed. Holden believes he is depressed from viewing the adult world and thinking that it is phony. He believes that the world is phony, superficial, hypocritical, and shallow. He views this world everyday and realizes that one day he will have to step into it, but every time he thinks about the world surrounding him it causes him to become depressed. Holden becomes depressed because he desires to remain a child were innocence is preserved and not drastically taken away. In Holden's scenario, he feels that his innocence was taken away by witnessing the suicide of his close friend and the death of dear brother. Holden sees the world that he has to become a part of and desires more to not be a part of it. This hatred of stepping into the adult world causes Holden believe he...
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