Analysis Of J. D. Salinger And Holden Caulfield Psychoanalysis

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J.D. Salinger and Holden Caulfield Psychoanalysis J.D. Salinger, the author of The Catcher in the Rye, writes about a cynical teenage boy named Holden Caulfield who has a difficult time expressing his emotions to other people. Salinger also had a hard time with his social life, so he composed this novel to express his own difficulties through Holden Caulfield. When analyzing this novel, it is clear to see the similarities between Salinger’s own personal life and the life he creates for Holden. J.D. Salinger uses the character Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye to reflect his own social problems: interacting with other people, relationships, and status expectations. Holden Caulfield views everyone around him as social climbers, people …show more content…
When it comes to sex and relationships, he admits he just doesn’t understand it. Jane Gallagher is one person that Holden actually respects and is fond of but every time he thinks about calling her or going to see her, he backs out and fails to make the connection. Holden makes countless references to being with Jane during his childhood and starts to believe that he and Jane can keep that childhood innocence forever. Sunny, the prostitute that Holden hired, also reveals Holden’s views on women. Holden was getting himself all ready to end his virginity when Sunny came, but when she arrived he could not see her as a prostitute, just a young girl with a terrible upbringing. Holden gets so nervous and does not want to take advantage of her that he just pays her to go away, “She was very nervous, for a prostitute. She really was. I think it was because she was young as hell. She was around my age…She had a tiny little wheeny-whiny voice. You could hardly hear her. She never said thank you, either, when you offered her something. She just didn’t know any better” (Salinger 123). Holden is very curious and wants to make a relationship with a smart, beautiful woman, but he never can make it last. He wants a physically beautiful woman, but every time he finds one, he yearns for a deep conversation with a smarter woman. Salinger, likewise, has a hard time connecting to women and keeping a steady relationship. J.D. Salinger …show more content…
Holden even mentions how his suitcases were so much nicer than his past roommate’s suitcases. However, Holden never cooperates with what is expected of him due to his economic status. People would expect Holden to go to an expensive private school, do well, and get a high-paying job. However, Holden does not agree with doing anything for money, he actually wants to instigate change for the better. He fails out of Pencey Prep, not because he did not have potential, but because he did not even try to succeed. When Phoebe asks Holden what he wants to be when he grows up, he replies that he wants to catch children, who are running off a cliff, to save their innocence. Phoebe also asks if he would like to be a lawyer, like his father. However, Holden feels that lawyers are corrupted by wealth, “Lawyers are all right, I guess – but they’re all right if they go around saving innocent guys’ lives all the time, and like that, but you don’t do that kind of stuff if you’re a lawyer. All you do is make a lot of dough and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and drink Martinis and look like a hot-shot” (Salinger 223). Holden wants to do a job for the satisfaction of helping others. Throughout the novel there are many instances that show Holden is full of sympathy for others, no matter how many times he calls them a phony.

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