A Confessional By Protagonist Holden Caulfield Essay

1385 Words Apr 28th, 2016 6 Pages
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger has always been controversial. The novel brought the feelings of a new generation and exposed it to the rest of the world. The book, a confessional by protagonist Holden Caulfield, takes the readers through his mental breakdown, as he flunks out of school for the fourth time, as well as the continued stress of his brother Allie’s death three years prior. Readers can observe Holden’s thoughts, and see how he changes over the course of three days as he breaks his limits. The Catcher in the Rye takes place in the late 1940s, right after the end of World War II. The war had profound effects on the world around it, and Holden takes notice, finding many things wrong with the new world around him. As the novel goes on, the reader is forced to question Holden’s mental state. A widely accepted definition of “sanity” is “the condition of being based on reason or good judgment”, or being in good mental health, with insanity being the opposite. Holden likely suffers from an affliction of mental illnesses, such as depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has to deal with them in a post-war society.
Holden suffers from clinical depression. Throughout the book, Holden finds himself being suddenly depressed by things. A prime example being in chapter 15 where Holden is observing the nun’s suitcases and finds himself feeling bad for having more than them, as well as simply having more to eat. He expresses the desire to kill himself more…

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