DIAGNOSING HOLDEN by: William Lawhorne


The Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J. D. salinger about a depressed prep school boy who wasn't like most other kids. This book was written in 1951.the Catcher in the Rye was banned by many schools because of its rebellious features such as underage drinking, smoking, and really foul language. J. D. Salinger made holden (the main character) seem like he was really depressed, showing symptoms of suicidal thoughts and extreme emptiness or sadness.

Extreme emptiness or sadness

In the story the Catcher in the Rye holden often shows signs of sadness or emptiness throughout the entire story. One of the most common and most noticeable symptoms of depression is extreme sadness or feeling "empty" inside. most people cant admit that they are depressed but holden did say that he felt miserable in the book "boy i felt miserable . i felt so depressed you cant imagine."

holdens hat protects his innocence

difficulty trusting people

Holden was fairly lonely throughout his entire life. He had to leave his family to go to school and his brother allie died. All because of that he didn't want to trust anybody, and he only talked to a few people every but they were usually "Phonies" so he just did it for a little companionship. Holden once said "don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody." so holden did care about people on the inside but he just couldn't show it on the outside.


So I say due to the signs of it in the Catcher in the Rye, holden does have depression. He showed signs of loneliness and sadness. He also showed us that it is hard for him to trust people.

work cited

National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed 2 fe

Salinger, J. D., E. Michael Mitchell, and Lotte Jacobi. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print.


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