Depression In J. D. Salinger's 'Catcher In The Rye'

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In today’s society, most people have felt sad or depressed at one point of their lives, it can be a common reaction to loss, stressful environments or other negative situations. But when intense symptoms of sadness such as but not limited to: Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, a persistently sad or anxious mood, irritability, social withdrawal, tiredness and restlessness interfere with everyday life and/or overall functioning, it exceeds just sadness. Major depression is a brain disorder characterized by a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, therefore it can cause various symptoms and conflicts. For example, in the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, Holden Caulfield is the main character who …show more content…
One reason is since he was unmotivated enough to flunk every class except English. Not only does he get kicked out, but he left earlier than when he was supposed to due to how things ended up after a fight with his roommate Stradlater over a childhood crush named Jane. It all started when Holden said “ What’d you do? Give her the time in Ed Banky’s goddam car?” (Salinger pg 49) The basis of Holden’s argument is that Stradlater had sex with Jane which he found disturbing and troubling because he was concerned for Jane’s well being and is still crushing over her. After his statement, both Holden and Stradlater get into a fist fight that gets extremely graphic. This could show Holden has depression because he was dwelling over the past, and is still obsessively thinking about the things Jane does after many years. Unmotivation, dwelling over the past, and jealousy is also common in major depression. For Holden, contributing factors could be the loss of his brother Allie and/or fear of what could …show more content…
For example Phoebe claims he hates a million things and he tries to disprove her, but she claims “You don’t like anything that’s happening...Name one thing” and Holden says “I like Allie and I like doing what i’m doing right now. Sitting here with you, and talking, and thinking about stuff” (Salinger pg 187-189). By this Holden is realizing how much he hates things other than his siblings. This reveals his instability because by not wanting to have other close friends, he is isolating himself and masking his feelings from others. This demonstrates Holden may have major depression because instability and isolation are other common known symptoms. When shutting other people out due to only liking certain people interfere with everyday life or how life is perceived, it can be dangerous to someone’s well being since communication would at times not be taken

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