How Does Depression Affect The Catcher In The Rye

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Adolescent depression is a serious issue in real life that is touched upon in many literature works. These works include magazines, newspapers, books, and just articles in general. Even though these works may handle the concept in different ways, they still touch upon it similarly. So similar that parallels can often be made. An article by Mental Health America and the famous realistic fiction novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger have parallels that form. While the article directly talks about depression, the novel indirectly involves the disorder and its symptoms. The disorder is brought into the book by the main character, Holden Caulfield, who is actually experiencing depression throughout the book, The reader can see this through…show more content…
Holden tries to engage in all of these unhealthy and scandalous activities at many points in the book. At some points the book also suggests that he may try to partake in them or he does so to make him feel less lonely or depressed. For example, Holden, when offered some "action" with a prostitute, he accepts. But then he tells the reader, "It was against my principles and all, but I was feeling so depressed I didn't even think. That's the whole trouble. When you're feeling depressed, you can't even think." (Salinger 119), which hints that he didn't even think about his morals because he was depressed and wanted to satisfy the feeling. When the prostitute comes, it is clear that he just wants someone to talk to, as he is constantly trying to get into a conversation with her. Another way Holden seemingly tries to avoid depression is alcohol. Throughout the book he tries asking various people in New York to have a drink with him. He asks several people throughout the book, and this shows that Holden is feeling lonely and possibly depressed, so he wants others drink with him because he may think that he will feel better. When he has a drink with Luce, he starts to ask a lot of questions and seems excited to talk to him. This shows that Holden is excited for company and another person to talk to. The last unhealthy activity that Holden engages in…show more content…
If an adolescent does not seem to be able to fulfill these expectations, they may feel a sense of hopelessness and become depressed. This happens to Holden a couple of times throughout the book. Firstly, he cannot complete expectations of his peers. In an example where he cannot complete an expectation, it is the expectation of one peer, his roommate Ward Stradlater. Stradlater asks Holden to write a composition for him, since he is going to be busy and he badly needs it. After not giving a completely straight answer, Holden writes the composition while Stradlater is out. He couldn't think of anything that Stradlater tells him to describe, so he describes his deceased brother Allie's baseball mitt. After Stradlater gets home, he gets angry at Holden for not describing what he told him to. Stradlater then says, "You don't do one damn thing the way you're supposed to. I mean it. Not one damn thing." (Salinger 53). This quote is suggesting that Holden can't do anything right. Holden then feels disappointed because he cannot fulfill Stradlater's expectation. This is shown by his actions that occur next. He grabs the paper and rips it up, probably frustrated by his inability to write the composition how Stradlater wanted it. Another group of others who have high expectations for

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