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Catcher In The Rye: A Psychoanalytical Perspective Essay

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J.D Salinger’s novel, Catcher In The Rye is about a teen, Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of the narrative. Holden is full of unique problems and most of the time lost in his own world, that can’t face reality. The psychoanalytic theory arranges a lens of definition when working at Holden Caulfield. Holden is seen as a lonely, rebellious teen who flunked out of an all boys private school, Pencey Prep. Failing school exemplifies how Holden controls his own decisions in the real world. As stubborn Holden is, opening up his persona and experiences to people is very hard for him, “I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me…” (Salinger 1). From a Freudian psychoanalytical perspective Holden would seem to keep all his thoughts all bottled up, not speaking, and opening up to people. “The preconscious holds information we’ve stored from past experience or learning. This information can be retrieved from memory and brought into awareness at any time.” (Nevid 469). Holden is one step closer to becoming a better changed person by speaking to his psychiatrist, and there is only way to find out if he did.
The narrative allows the reader to be exposed to Holden Caulfield’s mind to form a psychoanalytical perspective and emphasize how he goes through many experiences. An example of when Holden went through a violent outburst is when his brother, Allie passed away. “I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist just for the hell of it.” (Salinger 39). This citation is meaningful and clearly shows what kind of person Holden becomes. He was very close with his brother Allie and that mentally broke him. He had a very strong and sad mental breakdown in the moment that affected his futu...


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...ality in the narrative is having to deal with alienation and how he deals with it, with the world. One of his other psychological features is having depression, which elucidate to Sigmund Freud. Holden’s last trait has to do with having immature relationships with women and focuses on both the author and Holden. Holden Caulfield could also be known as a wallflower. He is shy, always excluded to the world, and is always focusing in his own mind, which somewhat makes him have a normal trait. But that doesn’t cover his mental disorders.




Works Cited

Salinger, J.D Catcher In The Rye. Boston: Little Brown & Company. 1951. 214 pages.

This novel by J.D Salinger is about a rebellious teenage, Holden Caulfield. Holden's brother, Allie death affects Holden academics and future. Holden goes through many different experiences that make his pyschoanalytic traits stand out.


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