Therapist Problem: Holden Caulfield's Problems

999 Words 4 Pages
Tal Usvyatsky
Period 2
Therapist Report
Holden Caulfield’s Problems In the juxtaposition of Holden Caulfield and the average adolescent, many of Holden’s prominent traits are abnormal and rather disconcerting. Holden’s depression and fixation on innocence are byproducts of the loss of his brother, Allie. Additionally, Holden’s dislike for social standards fuels his nonconformist attitude and ultimately furthers his feelings of depression. Equally as troublesome is Holden’s difficulty in connecting with other people, as it causes him to feel isolated. These three issues are superior in severity because they disable Holden from living a happy life. His feelings of alienation and depression caused by these three problems keep him in his perpetual
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However, in this process, a person finds ways to cope and eventually come to terms with the situation. This is not the case for Holden. Allie Caulfield’s death at the young age of eleven continues to haunt Holden and hinder him from any personal growth. In a composition, Holden writes about the night of Allie’s death saying, “I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddamn windows with my fist, just for the hell of it” (39). Naturally, Holden’s immediate reaction is one of anger; however, Holden does not abandon this type of reaction. In a tense moment, Phoebe is frustrated with Holden and tells him that he would not be able to name a single thing that he actually likes. Holden responds by saying, “’I like Allie’” (171). Holden is so stuck on his brother’s death that he cannot find joy in anything other than his brother’s …show more content…
Coming from a fairly affluent and presumably well-educated family, Holden is expected to succeed in a traditional school setting and accept social norms without questioning them. However, just like many other practices, Holden sees these expectations as ‘phony.’ In a visit to his favorite teacher’s house Holden admits, “I didn’t exactly flunk out or anything. I just quit, sort of” (13). Holden knows what is expected of him; he just chooses to defy all expectations, which makes it difficult for him to be a contributing member of society. Still, Holden feels some need to comply with unwritten rules, so he develops a habit of compulsive lying. Besides admitting to being, “the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life” (16), Holden uses lies to cover up uncomfortable situations. He tells a classmate’s mother that her son is extremely popular even though that is not the case. This habit of lying is also detrimental to Holden’s well being, as he recognizes phoniness in himself and sinks further into isolated

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