Holden Superego Analysis

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superego takes control and changes his perspective drastically. He realizes that if he gives in to intimacy, he will rob the young girl of her innocence. Holden’s psyche has become so compromised with the complexities of Allie’s death that he cannot bare the idea of taking someone’s innocence. He swells up with guilt and refuses to have sexual intercourse with this young prostitute in order to preserve her innocence. From a Freudian perspective, Holden was deprived of his own innocence after allies’ death, therefore he does all he can to preserve others’ innocence. Holden lacks the presence of his ego; he seems to ignore the external world and does what he wants until finally his superego kicks in. Holden’s psyche is unstable.
Salinger projects
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One’s family environment or a trauma significantly affects the way one associates with others. For instance, Holden cannot seem to connect with people because Allie’s death caused a shift in focus in his family. His parents neglected him and left him at the time he needed guidance the most. He’s left to feel like he’s on his own and has convinced himself that “no one cares”. Therefore, he gives up on himself; he gives in to smoking, alcohol, and bad grades. He says to Mr. Spencer after he’s been kicked out of another private school, “Don’t worry about me…I’ll be alright. I’m just going through a phase right now. Everybody goes through phases and all, don’t they?” (Salinger 15). Holden feels he has to deal with everything on his own because that is how it’s always been for him whether it is with Allie’s death or in school. Freud would argue that the lack of love and support from his parents and Allie’s death has caused his inability to create or give in to any sense of attachment. It has led him to believe he is “alone’ and deny the need of companionship. Holden claims people never notice, he says, “Everybody says that, especially my father…people always think somethings all true. I don’t give a damn…sometimes I act older than I am…but people never notice it. People never notice anything” (Salinger 9). He has come to the conclusion that there is no point in trying if the world is filled with “phonies” who simply do not care. These thoughts Holden perceives highlight Freud’s theory of the unconscious mind. Holden convinces himself that he wants to be alone, that he’s better off, but deep down under the surface, he desperately seeks attention and companionship. Holden has trouble accepting the fact that he wants, even needs, companionship; therefore these “threatening” emotions are

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