Antisocial Personality Disorder In The Catcher In The Rye By JD Salinger

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A world equivalent to hell: no friends, acquaintances, or inspiration. Nothing but the crumbling sanity of the brain, and the urge to backlash upon the world that deserted him into nothing but a struggling renegade. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, this problem is bestowed to sixteen-year old Holden Caulfield, who struggles with mental and social issues in New York after being kicked out of his school, Pencey Prep. Holden is suffering from something far more severe than a minor mental disorder such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, he has antisocial personality disorder, or an irrational and destructive mindset that is characterized by a disregard for others (“Antisocial Personality Disorder”). This is shown …show more content…
Holden displays the seeds of disregard for others as gifted with antisocial personality disorder. Patients with this disorder display “a dejection towards the feelings of others…people with antisocial personality disorder often act very impulsively, and are known to hurt the people that they may or may not love without showing any guilt” (“Antisocial Personality Disorder”). This is shown when Holden goes on a date with a girl named Sally Hayes. At the end of the date, Holden called Sally a “royal pain in the ass… [Sally] was even crying… All of a sudden [Holden] did something [Holden] shouldn 't have. [Holden] laughed” (Salinger 148-149). This shows Holden’s inability to show empathy because he just made a girl that he said he wanted to marry cry, and then he laughed at her pain. Holden then goes on to explain how he could not keep himself from laughing because of how funny the whole ordeal was. This is an evident example of Holden’s unstable disregard for others. Another example of Holden’s inability to show empathy was when he fantasized about shooting Maurice, a pimp who punched Holden for paying him five dollars short. Holden was so angry that he wanted to shoot “six shots right through his fat hairy belly” (Salinger 116). Holden is thinking about murdering a man that only punched him in the stomach, which strays from the norms of any other …show more content…
Antisocial personality disorder often extends to “poor work, law, and school records… it is chiefly characterized by flagrant disregard for the law, and a refusal to conform to the rules and norms of society” ("Sociopathic Personality”). An unsafe practice that Holden committed in the novel was when he lead himself to expulsion from his school. He says, “[Holden] forgot to tell you about that. They kicked [Holden] out. [Holden] wasn’t supposed to come back” (Salinger 6). This was because he was not applying himself at school. Clearly this was an unsafe rational as a lack in education can lead to a plethora of financial problems, but Holden does not recognize his grave mistake. Another continuous symptom of antisocial personality disorder is substance abuse. Holden’s behavior portrays a constant refusal to assimilate to social law, and it is accompanied with recurring lying. This is evident when Holden keeps lying to get “intoxicating liquor. [Holden] had trouble with him… Do [Holden] look like [he is] under twenty-one… Bring me a coke… Can’tcha [Bartender] stick a little rum in it” (Salinger 78). Not only does Holden beg and lie consistently for alcohol in other bars in New York knowing that what he is doing is against the law, he continues to drink. Therefore this is another evident example of why Holden can only suffer from

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