Share via Email Holden Caulfield is a 16 year old who had been kicked out of one the most prestigious schools just before the Christmas break. He has had some past experience in being expelled. His character is described as a confused, stressed, troubled teenager, which I believe is the representation of teenagers in general.
Novelist, journalist, mental-health activist Holden Caulfield: Depressed, Psychotic and All Caulfield may be a screw-up, more than a savior, but he has a generous heart and should be a paragon for those who believe in good deeds, not acts of violence.
Salinger, who just passed away a few months ago, created a famously world-weary youth, who fibs about his age and name, horses around with his roommate and numerous others, and, like Bob Dylan in his early years, generally puts everyone on.
But I am less interested in his pranksterism than I am in his mental state. At the suggestion of my wife, Barbara, I have recently re-read the book in light of my own past psychosis.
While it is obvious that Caulfield is depressed he says so throughout the book, and he exhibits symptoms of depression, such as an inability to concentrate and anhedonia, a lack of interest in just about anythingit may be less obvious that he appears to be both manic and psychotic.
He may not engage in random acts of sex as some manic people do, but he drinks almost as frequently as a Hemingway character, and he spends money, smokes and swears wantonly in the novel. Indeed, it may be impossible to find a single page where he is not drinking or attempting to drink alcohol, smoking, spending money or swearing, behavior characteristic of someone in the thralls of mania.
Even more intriguing to me are his psychotic symptoms. When he picks up a magazine in Grand Central Station, he reads an article in which he seems to resemble the man in the piece who has "lousy hormones"; then, he reads an article about sores in your mouth possibly leading to cancer.
He gets quite depressed, reacting almost as I did years ago during my second psychotic break, when I thought the newspapers were sending me subliminal messages just to torment me. As one gets deeper into the book, the psychosis picks up and takes on a vertiginous, frenetic quality as if Caulfield risks falling into a vortex.
He starts fearing that he won't be able to get across street intersections, and to help him he talks to his deceased brother, Allie, whom he adored. Some have cited the parallels between Caulfield and Hamlet, both of whom are grieving a loved one. The parallel is in fact made by Caulfield himself when he discusses seeing the Laurence Olivier version of Hamlet; Caulfield is upset that Olivier played the Prince of Denmark as a warrior, rather than as a "sad, screwed-up type guy.
Furthermore, Caulfield's world-weariness echoes that of Hamlet, the most world-weary of young men though he is 30 years old, not a teen like Caulfield.
Hamlet of course refers to the world as "weary, stale, flat and unprofitable. Some claim that Chapman and Hinckley suffer from mental illness. But they strike me as being psychopaths, not psychotics.
A true psychotic, like Caulfield, is much more likely to be a pacifist, than a murderer. Caulfield says on several occasions that if there is another war he hopes that they just line him up and shoot him, rather than force him to commit violent acts. And while Caulfield gets into two fights in the book, he does not start them.
Holden Caulfield will always be known for decrying phoniness, but perhaps he should also be remembered for his myriad acts of kindness throughout the book, filling the donation box of two nuns, balancing a see-saw so a kid won't fall off, generously tipping a woman at the coat-check, giving his turtleneck sweater to a boy who later commits suicide, and buying his kid sister, Phoebe, a record, though it slips from his hand and breaks.Salinger in (photo by Lotte Jacobi).
Born: Jerome David Salinger January 1, ) January 1, J.D.
Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye The novel The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, contains many complex symbols, many of the symbols in the book are interconnected. A symbol is an object represents an idea that is important to the novel. Jun 01, · In honor of April Fools' Day, I thought it appropriate to pay homage to that jokester, much beloved of all adolescents and many adults, Holden Caulfield, protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye.
In. Jerome David Salinger (/ ˈ s æ l ɪ n dʒ ər /; January 1, – January 27, ) was an American writer known for his widely read novel, The Catcher in the srmvision.coming his early success publishing short stories and The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger led a very private life for more than a srmvision.com published his final original work in and gave his last interview in Died: January 27, (aged 91), Cornish, New Hampshire, U.S.
Depression in J.d.
Salinger's the Catcher in the Rye (Social Issues in Literature) Hardcover – October 24, by Dedria Bryfonski (Author) out of 5 stars 1 customer review. See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions.
Price New from Reviews: 1. Provides background on the life of author J.D. Salinger and the influences that shaped his work, features twelve articles that explore depression as portrayed in his novel "The Catcher in the Rye," and examines issues of depression in the twenty-first century.