Holden Caulfield Psychoanalysis

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The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D Salinger is a novel that has gained many fans and critics since it was published in 1951. Holden Caulfield, a seventeen year old narrates a story about a couple of day in his life when he was sixteen. Initially, the text appears to be of a typical depressed teenager’s life, but analyzing the characters, scenes, and symbols through a psychoanalytic lens provides meaning and value to the story. The novel is written from the perspective of Holden which allows readers to see through his mind and to justify his actions. Holden’s actions and behavior’s is a result of his unconscious that is driven by desires, fears, needs and conflicts. Sigmund Freud believed that the human conscious was influenced by childhood…show more content…
He disliked everyone he has ever met, he believes that they are all “phony’s” in this world, except for three people, Allie, Phoebe, and Jane. Allie’s dead and Phoebe was home with her parents, he could not call her because they would have found out he was not in school, but there was no actual reason to why he did not call up Jane. He loves her very much, and knows her well but throughout the novel he never called her, “I thought of giving old Jane a buzz…but I wasn’t in the mood” (Salinger 105). He was afraid to get close to people as he does not want to lose someone he cares about and he did not want to hurt anyone. Being afraid to talk and to get close to people and have a stable relationship can make a person lonely and often turn to substances to cope with the pain. That something for Holden was alcohol and…show more content…
Surrounded by dead guys and tombstones and all… that’s what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get into their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go to someplace nice for dinner-everybody except Allie.” (Salinger 155-156). Having to watch other people carry on with their lives while his little brother cannot is Holden’s weakness. He is still grieving; while doing so the five steps of grief are evident: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Holden does not want to think that Allie is dead even though he is well aware of his absence; he was not ready to lose his brother. No one is ever ready to lose a loved one. “They were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don’t blame them. I really don’t. 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. I even tried to break all the windows on the station wagon we had that summer, but my hand was already broken and everything by that time, and I couldn’t do it. It was a very stupid thing to do, I’ll admit, but I didn’t even know what I was doing…” (Salinger

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