As a soldier in WWII, J.D. Salinger did not write about the war like his counterparts. He wrote about catastrophe, but from a teenage point of view in the shape of Holden Caulfield. Through the psychological theory of injury in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the mental lens can be used to evaluate while some argue mental illness in adolescence must not be taken seriously due to the fact that many victims are rich and experience few other problems, it should be due to how health problem results from repressed trauma and causes an identity crisis transitioning into adulthood; unless indications of internal conflict is typical for ending up being a grownup.
The mental lens looks into the behavior and motivations of characters. The lens worries expression, personality, and mindset; it draws on psychology and psychoanalysis. TED Talk “Anxiety, the Secret We Share” by Andrew Solomon delves into the minds and lives of those experiencing mental illness. Circumstances within the text show experiences in The Catcher in the Rye evaluated by the psychological lens.Through the mental theory, Holden expresses behavior of quelched trauma from childhood in the novel. Holden Caulfield experienced quite a quantity of trauma at an early age; his bro Allie died when they were young. Time does not recover all injuries, however, due to the fact that years later Holden imagines his brother,” … I ‘d pretend I was speaking with my sibling, Allie. I ‘d state to him, ‘Allie, do not let me disappear. Please, Allie.’ And then I ‘d reach the other side of the street without disappearing. I ‘d thank him. Then it would start all over once again as soon as I got to the next corner” (Salinger 257). Soon after, Holden chooses he is heading out west to begin once again. Yet, he is only reacting to panic in the minute. As Holden connects his location with memories of Allie, Holden wants nothing more than to escape; but he would only be running from his issues instead of finding peace. Holden’s injury is due to his accessory to Allie– Holden denies his bro has passed. In addition, Holden’s injury adds to his seclusion, “We can see that Holden’s alienation is the cause of the majority of his pain. He never expresses his own emotions straight, nor does he try to find the source of his difficulties. He frantically requires human contact, care, and love, however his protective wall avoids him from looking for such interaction” (Chen 145). As an outcome of his repression, Holden does not share his problem, which permits his depression to spread out. He deliberately retreats from others so he can conceal his trauma.
Mental illness can trigger or lengthen an identity crisis throughout adolescence. Teenage years are associated for personal discovery, however psychologically ill teenagers such as Holden feel they do not belong. Mr. Antolini advises, “‘I think that one of these days,’ he said, ‘you’re going to have to find out where you want to go. And after that you have actually got to start going there. However right away. You can’t manage to lose a minute” (Salinger 245). Mr. Antolini informs Holden while he might not understand where he is now, whatever will exercise later; however Holden does not comprehend. It appears simple for teenagers to discover what they want to pursue, but mental disorder can spiral into an id that could prolong into their adult years. In addition, Holden currently has an image for his identity, “Anyhow, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this huge field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around– no one huge, I mean– other than me. And I’m basing on the edge of some insane cliff. What I need to do, I need to capture everyone if they begin to review the cliff– I mean if they’re running and they do not look where they’re going I need to come out from someplace and capture them. That’s all I do all the time. I ‘d simply be the catcher in the rye and all. I understand it’s insane, however that’s the only thing I ‘d truly like to be” (Salinger 224). Holden views himself as the preserver of innocence. When Phoebe recommends he pursue science or law, Holden does not see himself with a genuine career– instead, he associates his identity with what he abhors most: their adult years.
One popular criticism connected to The Catcher in the Rye is Holden is not depressed, however a spoiled teenager with no sense of identity. A critic scorns, “In the course of 277 pages the reader wearies of this kind of explicitness, repetition and adolescence, precisely as one would weary of Holden himself” (Goodman). In her initial 1951 short article, Goodman slams Holden Caulfield as the common self-centered teen. Using “repeating” indicates this depiction has actually been done prior to. While Goodman makes note about the lack of authenticity in Holden’s character, nevertheless she misses subtle little bits of seclusion and self-destruction related to anxiety and not normal adolescence. In his TED Talk, Solomon addresses whether anxiety is just a part of human character, “Being able to have sadness and worry and pleasure and enjoyment and all of the other state of minds that we have, that’s incredibly valuable. And major anxiety is something that takes place when that system gets broken. It’s maladaptive” (Solomon 8). Generally, adolescence is accompanied by pictures of teenage angst. Yet teens suffering from mental disorder most of the time feel just indifference. Holden’s failure to care– from being expelled to feeling threatened in Antolini’s house– is all a precursor to what Holden fears as a frustrating life.
A typical criticism which tries to invalidate mental illness is that victims from fortunate backgrounds can not suffer because they are not outwardly miserable. Solomon depicts this normal scenario, “And yet it turns out that if you have a truly beautiful life but feel miserable all of the time, you think, ‘Why do I feel like this? I need to have depression.’ And you set out to discover treatment for it. However if you have a pretty horrible life, and you feel unpleasant all of the time, the way you feel is commensurate with your life, and it does not strike you to believe, ‘Possibly this is treatable'” (Solomon 7). Essentially, mental illness is a lottery game and while the victims can be privileged or poor, they feel the very same wave of unhappiness and apprehension. This reflects Holden and his depression, since although he comes from an affluent household and a great house, he has sensations of hopelessness and misery. In fact, Holden spends much of The Catcher in the Rye by recklessly spending his dad’s money, and pleading his sister Phoebe for more. He was raised in an environment which holds money as a source for happiness. During when Holden reaches what is possibly his lowest point, “My bags were there and all, and I figured I ‘d oversleep that crazy waiting space where all the benches are. So that’s what I did. It wasn’t regrettable for a while since there weren’t many people around and I might stick my feet up” (Salinger 252). Although Holden has a steady family and home, Holden is so hated by the concept of going there that he sleeps on a train bench. His anxiety is what rejects him from the help he requires, representing his isolation. Though he felt risky, he considers returning to Mr. Antolini, due to the fact that Mr. Antolini used him solace. Holden may have matured fortunate, but there was nothing money might buy to repair his esteem.
While the psychological lens is not the only lens to analyze The Catcher in the Rye, the conversations developed from analysis can be utilized to compare our modern-day viewpoint on mental illness to a much more primitive one. For years, the concept that Holden was just a misbehaved teen was common among critics, however stopped working to dig much deeper into the suffering Holden feels from his social seclusion and injury generated by occasions throughout his life time. It can not be presumed that Salinger and Holden shared comparable experiences, but the authenticity in his words communicates in a subtle way that trauma affects everyone in various wide varieties, and The Catcher in the Rye is just one point of view.