Holden's Maturity In The Catcher In The Rye

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One of Holden’s many psychological disorders is anxiety, meaning Holden gets stressed and worried when making decisions, however, this has not stopped him from making decisions with severe consequences. One of the key themes of the book his Holden’s constant battle between maturity and immaturity. Holden manages to try to act mature, however, Holden fails to keep up his maturity. Holden’s depression and anxiety are some of his main struggles that are stopping him from maturing. Holden’s anxiety stops him from making certain decision that would help Holden mature, while Holden’s depression is not allowing Holden to make rational decisions. Also, Holden’s lack of social skills show his immaturity, for one develops his/her social skills during …show more content…
When Holden flunk out of school, instead of telling his parents, he decides to leave school early to distract himself from his problems. Meaning, Holden is afraid of the consequences that he will face if he returns home. "Daddy s gonna kill you… Nobody’s gonna kill me. Use your head. In the first place, I'm going away. What I may do, I may get a job on a ranch or something for a while. I know this guy whose grandfather's got a ranch in Colorado. I may get a job out there," ( J.D Salinger, 89 ) Using this quote, Salinger is expressing that instead of claiming responsibility for his actions, he would rather run away from his problems. So, instead of being mature and facing the outcome of his actions, he chooses the immature way out. This is due to Holden’s anxiety, as he is afraid of the outcome. The Merriam-Webster defines Anxiety as; “the fear or nervousness about what might happen” (merriam-webster.com) This gives the reader a clearer perspective on Holden’s mind and cognitions. When Holden does not call Jane, he is afraid of rejection and hearing from Jane what happened between Stradlater and her. Holden makes excuses to why not all Jane such as her mother answering or being asleep. Holden choosing not to call Jane and expressing to her how he feels, shows how anxiety has a big play in Holden’s thinking and decision-making. “I started toying with the idea, while I kept standing there, of giving old Jane a …show more content…
When Holden calls Luce, he does because Holden wants to have a mature conversation, however, Holden asks immature questions which causes Luce to leave. "Maybe I'll go to China. My sex life is lousy,” I said."Naturally. Your mind is immature.” “It is. It really is. I know it," I said. ( J.D Salinger, 79) This quote further explains how Holden knows that he is immature, but chooses not to change. Also, Luce believes that Holden is immature for bringing up immature/inappropriate topics. Later on, when Luce is leaving, Holden asks him to stay and says "Please. I'm lonesome as hell. No kidding.” This quote shows how Holden’s lack of social skills are causing his depression. A reader could see that Holden wants to isolate himself from society, however, at this point Holden is thinking of being a part of his community/society, but fails due to his lack of social skills. Even though Holden developed psychological disorders after Allie’s death, this intensifies holden’s depression. An article on natashatracy.com defines depression as not being able to remember any good memories or a time when one was not depressed. This relates to Holden, as when Phoebe asked him is there anything that he likes in life, he responds by saying "I like Allie,” (J.D Salinger, 92) The only thing Holden loves is dead. This shows the cause for Holden’s depression and other mental disorders. He

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