The Catcher within the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, was required studying for my tenth grade English class. I remembered it as a narrative concerning 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 via his personal nudge for independence, which sparked my curiosity to provide the story one other learn. Earlier than I started, I puzzled what my tackle the ebook can be at this level in life having survived adolescence and acquired coaching and expertise in youngster improvement along with having a teen in the home. This studying accentuated the unresolved grief, household dysfunction, psychological sickness, and lack of social connectedness of the principle character, Holden Caulfield, and the way these difficulties exacerbate the problems skilled through the typical maturational course of. Because the nation nonetheless debates gun management legal guidelines within the aftermath of Sandy Hook, and as we attempt to recuperate from the Boston Marathon bombing, The Catcher within the Rye reminds us concerning the significance of growing significant and real connections with our youngsters and the necessity to tackle their psychological well being points.
The Catcher within 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 therapy on the west coast. The occasions start at Pencey Prep in Pennsylvania, the place Holden has been expelled on account of poor educational efficiency, and conclude in New York Metropolis as Holden makes an attempt to return residence. Through the course of his journey, Holden makes an attempt to make connections with plenty of individuals nevertheless, he fails miserably on account of his social ineptitude, lack of acceptable therapy for what could probably be bipolar dysfunction, and lack of ability to consider that different individuals are able to being real. Holden finally makes it residence and connects together with his youthful sister. By that point he has decompensated to the purpose that, although he’s now 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. Nonetheless, 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 on the lookout for; she is each a peer and dependent to him. Via Phoebe, Holden is ready to cling to his childhood and postpone 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 incessantly compares himself to his youthful, deceased brother, whom he describes as good and athletic, in addition to his older brother, who has develop into a profitable creator. It’s prompt that Holden is a difficult youngster, and considerably of a disappointment to his dad and mom as he has been unable to stay as much as their expectations. He has been expelled from at the very least 4 preparatory colleges on account of poor educational efficiency, he has problem socially connecting with others, and he has frequent temper swings. It’s attainable that Holden’s dad and mom have been drained from watching their youngest son battle with leukemia which left them with little power to successfully take care of 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 therapy. His efforts to succeed in out and talk, together with failing out of faculties and entering into fights, usually are not understood as cries for assist however are seen as private shortcomings.
Holden perceives most individuals as being phony, superficial, and hypercritical. This will likely partially be on account of his social awkwardness, lack of maturity, and feeling of being deserted by his dad and mom. He’s repeatedly let down by everybody that he reaches out to for assist as they both do not stay as much as what Holden has constructed up in his thoughts, or they attempt to reap the benefits of him. Subsequently, Holden involves consider that everybody is phony who would not or is incapable of assembly his preconceived expectations. As well as, Holden clearly experiences moments of mania through the story, which are sometimes adopted by emotions of disappointment to the purpose the place he does categorical some suicidal ideas. It appears that evidently the shortage of communication together with his dad and mom, the unresolved grief and guilt over the loss of life of his brother, and the lack to successfully and appropriately join with others lead to 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 depart offers Holden with the power to go residence and ask for assist. Nonetheless, ultimately, Holden continues to undergo from an absence of affection and emotions of loneliness. He states, “Do not ever inform anyone something. Should you do, you begin lacking all people.” At this level, Holden continues to seek out it troublesome to have real, significant relationships believing that while you divulge heart’s contents to people who they may flip away from you with a view to preserve the connection on a superficial degree. Holden continues to be suffering from this emotional void and, whereas there’s a starvation for social connectedness, he’ll proceed to expertise vacancy and rejection on account of his quirkiness.
For me, studying The Catcher within the Rye in highschool highlighted the wrestle for independence and Holden’s battle on hypocrisy. On this studying, I used to be in a position to acquire a greater understanding of the tragedy that happens on account of Holden’s dad and mom being unable to offer him the emotional help that he wants to beat his brother’s loss of life and take care of his psychological well being wants. Holden’s repeated failure to socially join and develop a significant relationship with anybody apart from his sister and the shortage of therapy for his psychological well being points made me consider the current tragedies in Colorado, Sandy Hook, and Boston. It bolstered the necessity to take psychological well being wants and providers severely; simply because these situations are unseen doesn’t suggest that they don’t seem to be debilitating. Feeling cared for and related to others reduces the stress, stigma, and isolation which are related to these situations. It made me ponder whether these tragedies might have been averted if the individuals concerned had acquired acceptable remedy and therapy. They could have felt related and accepted, and these tragedies could have been averted. The message of being accepted and cared for from The Catcher within the Rye continues to be related to younger individuals at this time as all of us attempt for acceptance.