Phonies In Catcher In The Rye

Decent Essays
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, it is clear that the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, struggles to deal with a myriad of issues that weigh heavy on his mental health. Salinger utilizes cynical narration to display the difficulty Holden has blending in with a world full of “phonies” as he calls them. As the story progresses Holden’s imagination and fantasies stray further and further away from reality, to the point where he even longs to live in solitude in a cabin in the woods. Holden is also hanging on and outlining the saddest and most saddening aspects of his surroundings and the situation he is in. It is clear that Holden’s rough and unruly attitude stem from his emotional problems caused by a collection of events from his childhood. …show more content…
The National Institute of Mental Health states that in some cases depression is unreasonable and can triggered by trivial events and situations. This often happens to Holden in the novel, for instance when he describes the headmaster of his old school and how “phony” he was he says, “It makes me so depressed I go crazy” (Salinger 19). His feelings towards the headmaster help show that he is prone to emotional overreaction and depressive thoughts which aren’t present in the average teen displaying a mental issue within Holden. Additionally, Holden’s constant contemplation of suicide further show his deep depression. During his short stay in Manhattan, just the thought of his yellowness and his gloves being stolen at Pencey depresses him and drives him to drink uncontrollably, WebMD states that it’s fairly common for victims of depression to take to drinking to cope. After a night in which Holden did not have any particular luck in socializing, he feels so depressed that he wishes he was dead. This is important because it shows that his feelings are completely unreasonable, and it also displays how his mental illness negatively impacts his ability to function

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