the catcher in rye: holdens mental health

Topics: The Catcher in the Rye, Fraud, Deception Pages: 3 (1188 words) Published: December 5, 2013


Holden Caulfield has terrible habit of calling everyone a phony and he himself often behaves like a prophet or a saint, pointing out people flaws or as he sees it the phoniness in the world around him. Holden is not nearly as perfect as he pretends/wants to be. Many times throughout the novel he displays his phoniness and hypocrisy. Holden struggles with finding who he wants to be and searching for companionship. He has been kicked out of several schools for his own actions, which he refuses to admit. Movies seem to be one of the many things Holden views as very phony and constantly ridicules them as an art form as well as people who enjoy watching them. Holden calls people out like a prophet or saint would, deciding whose good and who is not, when Holden is neither good nor bad.

Holden as an adolescence struggles to find out who he really is and what he wants to viewed as. When trying to find a balance between who one wants to be and who one really is, one often lies to impress others. He criticizes everyone he sees and never gives them a chance. He puts on an act of being calm, cool, and collected but he isn’t close to that at all. Holden is affected by psychological problems, this obvious due to how cynical he is and how often he turns situations into negative experiences. Holden does this by pretending to be someone else than judging people by doing the same aka being “phony”. Holden treated every character terribly and talked about them in a negative light. Holden then at the end of the novel gives advice of “don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody” (214).

Relationships issues with friendship/sexually are prominent in The Catcher in the Rye. Holden is constantly searching for someone to talk to and to relate with but never can, because of how negative he is. He finally finds someone to...

Cited: Sallinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Catcher in the Rye.” SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.
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