Holden Caulfield's State Of Mind-Catcher In The Rye

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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Holden Caulfield's State of Mind The Catcher in the Rye Close to the end of the novel, Holden Caulfield is on the verge of another emotional breakdown. There are many factors which contributed to Holden's state of mind such as Allie's death, his expulsion from Pencey Prep school and the incident with Mr. Antolini. These incidents all contributed to Holden's emotionally unstable state of mind in "The Catcher in the Rye"�.

Allie's death, I feel, is the root of all of Holden's emotional problems. Holden never dealt with Allie's death and as a result Holden is emotionally and mentally disturbed. In chapter five he tells us how he had a nervous breakdown when Allie died and had smashed all the windows in the garage with only his fists. And in chapter 25, Holden still talks to his brother; he is crossing the street and starts to feel like he won't make it across to the other side.

He says to Allie, "Don't let me disappear."�page 98 and when he makes it across to the other side he thanks him. I believe Allie was one of the few people in Holden's life the he genuinely cared about. You can see Holden doesn't have many close relationships, not even with his friends or roommate at Pencey Prep.

I believe when Holden was expelled from Pencey Prep it really hurt him even though he didn't like it there. Holden doesn't enjoy his classes, and he's only passing English. Holden is very bright, but he doesn't apply himself and has poor work habits. For example, he's failing all of his subjects, although he enjoys reading challenging literary classics. Part of the problem is that Holden has an inferiority complex. He feels that he is the only dumb member in his family and...