The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, was required studying for my tenth grade English class. I remembered it as a narrative about the struggles of adolescence, the craving for independence, and the reluctance to let go of youth. My son is now about the identical age as I used to be after I learn the ebook and we live by way of his personal nudge for independence, which sparked my curiosity to offer the story one other learn. Earlier than I started, I questioned what my tackle the ebook could be at this level in life having survived adolescence and obtained coaching and expertise in youngster improvement in addition to having a teen in the home. This studying accentuated the unresolved grief, household dysfunction, psychological sickness, and lack of social connectedness of the important character, Holden Caulfield, and how these difficulties exacerbate the points skilled throughout the typical maturational course of. As the nation nonetheless debates gun management legal guidelines in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, and as we attempt to get better from the Boston Marathon bombing, The Catcher in the Rye reminds us about the significance of growing significant and real connections with our kids and the want to handle their mental health points.
The Catcher in the Rye begins as a flashback story about Holden Caulfield’s experiences main as much as his nervous breakdown previous to Christmas. Holden narrates the story whereas receiving inpatient psychological remedy on the west coast. The occasions start at Pencey Prep in Pennsylvania, the place Holden has been expelled because of poor educational efficiency, and conclude in New York Metropolis as Holden makes an attempt to return dwelling. Throughout the course of his journey, Holden makes an attempt to make connections with quite a lot of folks nevertheless, he fails miserably because of his social ineptitude, lack of acceptable remedy for what might presumably be bipolar dysfunction, and incapacity to imagine that different persons are able to being real. Holden ultimately makes it dwelling and connects along with his youthful sister. By that point he has decompensated to the level that, regardless that he’s not experiencing suicidal ideations, he feels disconnected, misunderstood, and alone. Holden decides that he’s going to go away, to flee from society and the rejection, the loneliness, and the ache that he feels. Nevertheless, Holden makes one final journey to see his sister Phoebe earlier than he disappears. Phoebe’s caring, anger, and innocence present Holden with the connection he’s wanting for; she is each a peer and dependent to him. By means of Phoebe, Holden is ready to cling to his childhood and delay making the leap to younger maturity and independence.
One theme that I used to be extra attuned to throughout this studying was the unstated dysfunction of the Caulfield household. Holden often compares himself to his youthful, deceased brother, whom he describes as sensible and athletic, in addition to his older brother, who has develop into a profitable creator. It’s advised that Holden is a difficult youngster, and considerably of a disappointment to his mother and father as he has been unable to reside as much as their expectations. He has been expelled from a minimum of 4 preparatory faculties because of poor educational efficiency, he has problem socially connecting with others, and he has frequent temper swings. It’s potential that Holden’s mother and father have been drained from watching their youngest son battle with leukemia which left them with little energy to successfully cope with Holden’s grief and potential incapacity. In Holden’s eyes, they seem to have emotionally and bodily divested themselves from him. He has little to no emotional household help and what seems to be little or no communication with them. Holden is left adrift to navigate this tumultuous time in his life with out help, understanding, and remedy. His efforts to achieve out and talk, together with failing out of colleges and moving into fights, aren’t understood as cries for assist however are seen as private shortcomings.
Holden perceives most individuals as being phony, superficial, and hypercritical. This may increasingly in half be because of his social awkwardness, lack of maturity, and feeling of being deserted by his mother and father. He’s repeatedly let down by everybody that he reaches out to for assist as they both do not reside as much as what Holden has constructed up in his thoughts, or they attempt to benefit from him. Due to this fact, Holden involves imagine that everybody is phony who does not or is incapable of assembly his preconceived expectations. As well as, Holden clearly experiences moments of mania throughout the story, which are sometimes adopted by emotions of unhappiness to the level the place he does categorical some suicidal ideas. Plainly the lack of communication along with his mother and father, the unresolved grief and guilt over the demise of his brother, and the incapacity to successfully and appropriately join with others consequence in Holden being unable to work together with others on something however a superficial degree. The exception to that is Phoebe. Her reluctance to let her brother go away offers Holden with the energy to go dwelling and ask for assist. Nevertheless, in the finish, Holden continues to undergo from an absence of affection and emotions of loneliness. He states, “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” At this level, Holden continues to seek out it troublesome to have real, significant relationships believing that whenever you speak in confidence to those that they’ll flip away from you in order to maintain the relationship on a superficial degree. Holden continues to be affected by this emotional void and, whereas there’s a starvation for social connectedness, he’ll proceed to expertise vacancy and rejection because of his quirkiness.
For me, studying The Catcher in the Rye in highschool highlighted the wrestle for independence and Holden’s struggle on hypocrisy. On this studying, I used to be capable of get hold of a greater understanding of the tragedy that happens on account of Holden’s mother and father being unable to supply him the emotional help that he wants to beat his brother’s demise and cope with his mental health wants. Holden’s repeated failure to socially join and develop a significant relationship with anybody apart from his sister and the lack of remedy for his mental health points made me consider the current tragedies in Colorado, Sandy Hook, and Boston. It bolstered the must take mental health wants and companies severely; simply because these circumstances are unseen does not imply that they don’t seem to be debilitating. Feeling cared for and linked to others reduces the stress, stigma, and isolation which can be related to these circumstances. It made me wonder if these tragedies might have been prevented if the folks concerned had obtained acceptable remedy and remedy. They might have felt linked and accepted, and these tragedies might have been prevented. The message of being accepted and cared for from The Catcher in the Rye continues to be related to younger folks as we speak as all of us attempt for acceptance.
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