Mental Illness In J. D Salinger's Catcher In The Rye

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Lysette Anthony once said, “Mental illness leaves a huge legacy, not just for the person suffering it but for those around them.” In J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, the main character Holden, leaves a huge legacy for himself and the people around him with his mental illness. He hints that he is mentally ill but only says it outright at one point in the book. Holden is a 16 year old guy living in New York City. He is a troublemaker and routinely gets kicked out of multiple, very expensive private schools. Holden doesn’t have many friends, except for one, Jane, due to the fact that he doesn’t exactly “like” a lot of people. Holden is a very odd guy, he thinks the world is full of phonies and especially the people he’s around. Holden shows …show more content…
He drops huge hints that further show signs of mental illness. “That's all I'm going to tell about. I could probably tell you what I did after I went home, and how I got sick and all, and what school I'm supposed to go to next fall, after I get out of here, but I don't feel like it. I really don't. That stuff doesn't interest me too much right now. A lot of people, especially this one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if I'm going to apply myself when I go back to school next September,” (124-125). When Holden says “especially this one psychoanalyst guy they have here” it clearly shows that Holden is in a place that requires a psychoanalyst therefore, he is in a place for the mentally ill. He says earlier, “and how I got sick and all” this shows that Holden did have some sort of a “break” or sickness that lead him to being sent to where he is now. In conclusion, Holden in Catcher in the Rye shows many signs of being mentally ill from, severely criticizing his classmate to admitting that he is in a psychiatric ward.
Despite the fact that Holden doesn’t outright say, “I am mentally ill and I need help” throughout the story he shows signs of having some type of a mental illness. Throughout this entire story, Holden has criticized people to a point where it’s not even normal. Admit that he is depressed therefore, mentally ill. Also, hints that he is in some type of a mental institution. Does Holden leave a legacy not just for himself, but for the people around

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