The Catcher and the Rye Project By Matthew Hook

Introduction

In J. D. Salinger’s ‘the Catcher in the Rye’, (July 16, 1951) the dominating theme throughout the book is the protection of innocence. The main character is Holden Caulfield. Holden is a 16 year old boy who is plight, does stupid things such as drinking and smoking, but mainly is scared of going into the adult world, and this is show all throughout the book whether in events or his ideas. Throughout the book, Holden explains how he hates everybody, and that they’re all “Phonys”. Holden is a kid that drinks, smokes, and does things that he shouldn’t really do but does them anyway. Through the book Holden shows symptoms to certain illnesses that he could or may be suffering from, such as depression, and Bipolar Disorder.

Depression

Throughout the book, Holden Caulfield shows varies symptoms of depression. There's parts in the book where he isolates himself from the world, and wants to get away, and there's also parts where he thinks of suicide but never goes through with it. Holden shows many signs of depression throughout the story, and is confused about many things such as sex, suicide, and just other general things. One quote that shows Holden isolating himself is this one from the football game. "Anyway, it was the Saturday of the football game. […] I remember around three o'clock that afternoon I was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill. […] You could see the whole field from there, and you could see the two teams bashing each other all over the place. […] You could hear them all yelling." Another quote that shows Holden's depression is the one he says after he gets beaten up. "What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would've done it, too, if I'd been sure somebody'd cover me up as soon as I landed. I didn't want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory." So as shown we can see that from just these two quotes that Holden could be or is depressed.

Bipolar Disorder

Another symptom I believe Holden Caulfield suffers from is Bipolar disorder. This disorder can be linked to depression. Basically when someone has it, they have mood swings. For example you could be the happiest person in the world, then completely mad at everything. One quote by Holden is, "What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of good-by. I mean I've left schools and places I didn't even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don't care if it's a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it. If you don't, you feel even worse"(1.8). In this quote we can see that Holden would rather feel sad about leaving the school, than being sad about not feeling connected and feeling sad. It's confusing in a way but the quote does show this disorder, and it's also linked to depression.

Conclusion

In conclusion I believe Holden is bipolar, and also does have depression. I feel that Holden is a normal kid despite the fact that he doesn't seem normal such as passing out, and over reacting by the words "F*ck You" on the wall. But there all quotes that show he does suffer from these disorders. Ether way these ideas are conventional and fit the over all theme.

Works Cited

National Institute of Mental Health "Depression" National Institute of Mental Health, Oct 2016, http://www.nihm.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Used 8 Feb. 2017.

National Institute of Mental Health "Bipolar Disorder" National Institute of Mental Health, April 2016, http://www.nihm.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml. Used 8 Feb. 2017.

Created By
Matthew Hook
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