Depression in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger Essay

Depression in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger Essay

Length: 1344 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Depression, a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. This mental illness demonstrates to affect teens as much as it affects adults. Studies show that 20 percent of teens will experience teen depression before they reach adulthood. When you deal with depression, you often find it difficult to live an everyday normal life. The “Catcher in the Rye” written by J.D Salinger, narrates on the main character Holden Caulfield, a hostile and negative person, who suffers from severe depression.

Teenage years are, without argument, the most confusing and difficult years of a person’s life as they prepare to go into adulthood. A wave of anxiety filled teenage year’s leads to an anxiety filled adulthood, following with a variety of prescription drugs and therapy sessions along with way. Throughout the “Catcher in the Rye” novel, Holden shows several signs of depression in various areas of his life such as lying, thoughts of suicide and the constant repetition of the word “depressing” in its self. Lying usually becomes second nature to those who suffer from depression as they feel the need to shield themselves away from the world. Holden assumes to lie to just about any adult he encounters so he can obscure insecurities and shelter his lack of inspiration in life. Holden is “the most terrific liar you ever saw,” (16) when it came to people wanting to assist him in finding his way in life. His frequent used technique was to shove people away by telling them “don’t worry about me…I’ll be all right, I’m just going through a phase” (18) when in reality Holden is screaming, hoping someone will s...

... middle of paper ... charge of his life but it is time to stop.
Depression is a major concern today and takes a harsh toll on everyone, not only the person who is diagnosed with it but also their family. It is not always obvious when someone is depressed. Everyone handles depression differently in their own way but depression is a medical problem which should be handled professionally. Unfortunately, Holden let his depression escalate out of proportion leading him to live a life full of emptiness, guilt, and compulsive lying and this way his way of dealing with his problem. Today, teenagers and Holden share multitude of problems such as losing a loved one, drugs, alcohol, and peer pressure that lead to depression and we need families to take notice and do something to stop teen depression.

Works Cited
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 2001. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Holden's Depression and Self-Doubt in Salinger's Catcher in the Rye Essay

- As Eugene McNamara stated in his essay “Holden Caulfield as Novelist”, Holden, of J.D. Salinger’s novel Catcher in the Rye, had met with long strand of betrayals since he left Pencey Prep. These disappointments led him through the adult world with increasing feelings of depression and self-doubt, leading, finally to his mental breakdown. Holden’s first betrayal was that of his memory and innocence by an egotistical peer. At Pencey Prep, he roomed with a student named Stradlater; the epitome of a teenage jock....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Better Essays
722 words (2.1 pages)

Holden's Depression in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye Essay

- Everybody feels depressed at some time or another in their lives.  However, it becomes a problem when depression is so much a part of a person's life that he or she can no longer experience happiness.  This happens to the young boy, Holden Caulfield in J.D Salinger's novel, The Catcher in the Rye.  Mr. Antolini accurately views the cause of Holden's depression as his lack of personal motivation, his inability to self-reflect and his stubbornness to overlook the obvious which collectively results in him giving up on life before he ever really has a chance to get it started....   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays Salinger Papers]

Better Essays
1532 words (4.4 pages)

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger Essay

- In the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, a sixteen year old boy named Holden Caulfield gets expelled from his school and runs away before his parents find out. He goes to his home town, New York, and encounters many people. Throughout the novel, Caulfield is still coping with the death of his brother Allie. His attitude slowly decreases and various signs of a mental disorder are exhibited through his actions and his thoughts. Some people believe that he does not have a mental disorder, he is just grieving; however, he has clear symptoms that he is suffering from depression and anti-social disorder....   [tags: depression, character analysis]

Better Essays
766 words (2.2 pages)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Essay

- Do you ever wish you could return to the early time of your existence where the innocence and purity of childhood enveloped you on a day-to-day basis. These were the times when committing wrong doings were not only met with meager consequences, but also expected of you by the parental guardians or guides in your life. In "The Catcher in the Rye" , written by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, expresses his yearning for this feeling continuously throughout this detailed depiction of a struggling young man who craves nothing more than to make the dream he has given his entire being to, into a reality he can physically experience....   [tags: depression, holden caulfield]

Better Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Holden's Depression in The Catcher in the Rye

- Nineteen million American adults suffer from a major case of depression (Web MD). That is a staggering one in every fifteen people (2 in our classroom alone). Holden Caulfield is clearly one of those people. Depression is a disease that leads to death but is also preventable. Psychology, stressful events, and prescription drugs are causes of depression. Stressful events brought on Holden’s depression. Holden has been trying to withstand losing a brother, living with careless parents, and not having many friends....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Better Essays
642 words (1.8 pages)

The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger Essay

- Depression can come at many different times in your life and in many different ways. defines clinical depression as: A depression so severe as to be considered abnormal, either because of no obvious environmental causes, or because the reaction to unfortunate life circumstances is more intense or prolonged than would generally be expected (Random House). Throughout the novel, “The Catcher in the Rye,” the reader is inside the head of the troubled and depressed main character and narrator, Holden Caulfield....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Clinical Depression]

Better Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Psychological Battle in JD Salinger´s A Catcher in the Rye Essay

- The psychological battle of Holden Caulfield in the Catcher in the Rye, serves as the basis for the entire novel. Salinger's portrayal of Holden, which includes incidents of depression, a nervous breakdown, impulsive spending, sexual exploration, vulgarity, and other erratic behavior, attributes to the genuine nature of the novel. Salinger creates a real, relatable story by focusing on Holden´s thoughts and impressions of the events described in the novel, rather than the events themselves. The novel shows that the plot of the story isn’t that important in terms of importance, the Catcher in the Rye focuses more on what Holden thinks and how he thinks, creating an interesting, relevant stor...   [tags: Depression, Teenager]

Better Essays
723 words (2.1 pages)

Holden's Depression in Catcher in the Rye Essay

- The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, portrays Holden Caulfield as a manic-depressive. Holden uses three techniques throughout the novel to cope with his depression. He smokes, drinks, and talks to Allie. Although they may not be positive, Holden finds comfort in these three things. Holden smokes a lot when he is nervous, or bored. When the stripper is in his room he noticed that she is shaking her foot as if she is nervous. He offers her a cigarette, twice. Both times she says no. Holden offers Sunny the cigarette because he thinks it would calm her down, like cigarettes calm him down when he is nervous....   [tags: J. D. Salinger]

Better Essays
740 words (2.1 pages)

Sympathy Lacking in J.D Salinger´s A Catcher in the Rye Essay

- “May peace and comfort find you during this difficult time” (qtd from, a set of sympathetic words that can be uttered to a loved one during their time of need. Some may believe that these are words that should be said to the protagonist of J.D. Salinger's coming of age novel, The Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield is a troubled adolescent who longs for sympathy because he is often regretful, sad, lonely and cannot let go of the past. Instead though, because he puts himself in melancholy moods due to his personality, improper feelings or by running away from his problems, it is also believed that Holden is undeserving of this sympathy....   [tags: Teenager, Adversity, Depression]

Better Essays
1741 words (5 pages)

Free Essays - Depression in The Catcher in the Rye

- Depression in The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye by, J.D. Salinger is told through Holden the narrative in the story. The setting of the novel takes place in the 1940's early 1950's. Holden is sixteen years old and he has a lot of problems in his life. He becomes seriously depressed to the point he cannot deal with people and life around him. The 1940's were different from today. However, Holden Caulfield is similar to many other teenagers who go through the same problems....   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]

Free Essays
544 words (1.6 pages)