Home » Catcher In The Rye: Psychological Profile

Catcher In The Rye: Psychological Profile

Part One: The patient is Holden Caulfield, a sixteen-year-old teenage boy. Caulfield’s appearance is tall for his age and surprisingly has quite a few gray hairs at the age of sixteen. Holden comes from an upper-middle class family. His family has enough money to support Holden with many luxuries including skates and expensive suitcases. It appears that Mr. and Mrs. Caulfield aren’t there to talk, care, and be there for Holden, which seems to drive Holden away from his family. However, he has an intimate bond with his younger siblings, who embody innocence and youth.

The death of his brother Allie has left a large scar on Holden. He has a cherished and intimate relationship with his young and innocent sister, Phoebe. Holden has been to many schools and has been kicked out of many schools. Holden is an intellectual teenager, who refuses to apply himself, and thus goes from school to school. Some of the important and affecting moments in Holden’s life are death of Allie, suicide of a close friend, D. B. “selling out”, and his summer with Jane Gallagher. Allie, Holden’s younger brother died of leukemia recently and has caused stress upon the patient.

Also witnessing the death of once close friend traumatized the patient. The fact that Holden’s friend committed suicide wearing some of his clothing, placed even more strain on the patient. Another factor surround Holden is his brother D. B. leaving him and his family to “sell out to Hollywood” disturbed Holden. Lastly, the summer he had spent with a close and intimate friend, Jane Gallagher had added fuel to fire, which drove Mr. Caulfield to this institution and require professional help from our clinic. Part Two: The patient, Holden Caulfield, perceives himself a “madman”.

Holden proclaims he is a madman for his actions and thoughts. With the analysis of Holden Caulfield’s description of the weekend leading up to his enlistment of professional care for chronic depression, Holden reveals his thoughts on being convinced he was a madman. One incident from Holden’s description explicitly gives Holden’s view of himself. The incident in reference is his date with Sally Hayes. Holden proposed to Sally to run away to Massachusetts and live together away from the world. In actuality Holden could not tolerate Sally and her “phoniness”, but he still made the suggestion to her.

Upon his own analysis, he thinks he is a complete lunatic for having mixed thoughts about people: “She (Sally) wouldn’t have been anybody to go with. The terrible part, though, is that I meant it when I asked her. That’s the terrible part. I swear to God, I’m a madman” (Salinger 134). Upon the analysis of Holden’s quote, you can clearly see that he perceives himself to be different from the rest of the world and thinks because of that he is a madman. Holden’s self-perception of being a madman is because he cannot relate with anybody else.

Because he can’t compare thoughts with them, he assumes that since nobody expresses these thoughts, he is a madman. Holden recognizes and perceives to be alienated from the adult world thus causing himself to believe he is depressed. Holden believes he is depressed from viewing the adult world and thinking that it is phony. He believes that the world is phony, superficial, hypocritical, and shallow. He views this world everyday and realizes that one day he will have to step into it, but every time he thinks about the world surrounding him it causes him to become depressed.

Holden becomes depressed because he desires to remain a child were innocence is preserved and not drastically taken away. In Holden’s scenario, he feels that his innocence was taken away by witnessing the suicide of his close friend and the death of dear brother. Holden sees the world that he has to become a part of and desires more to not be a part of it. This hatred of stepping into the adult world causes Holden believe he is depressed and desires to prevent other children from having the step out in to the real world.

Even when he thought about the nuns he donated money to, he becomes depressed because he realizes that they cannot afford many of the luxuries he could and becomes depressed about the adult world: “It made me so damn sad when I thought about it, their never going anywhere swanky for lunch or anything. I knew it wasn’t too important, but it made me sad anyway” (Salinger 114). Holden constantly looks at world around him and becomes depressed by any hint of the real world and him stepping into it. Part Three:

The general public and people that don’t know Holden Caulfield perceive him to be a youth at heart, but also a consistent and chronic liar. Holden appears to be youthful and childish to people that are meeting Holden for the first time. However with his youthful appearance, he makes a habit of being a chronic liar. One example of his chronic lying is his encounter with the prostitute, Sunny.

When he meets her, he immediately lies to her by telling her that he is Jim Steele and is twenty-two years old: “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jim Steele, I said. “How old are you, anyways? Me? Twenty-two. ” It was a funny thing to say. It sounded like a real kid” (Salinger 94). This incident shows both his immaturity and his habit of lying. First, his immaturity is shown when he seems like a child by saying he is actually twenty-two. Secondly, his habit of lying is seen explicitly when he immediately begins lying to the prostitute by stating his name as Jim Steele. Secondly, when Holden encounters Ernest Morrow’s mother, he appears to be a well-mannered and decent kid, but does show his chronic lying to everybody that he meets. When Holden Caulfield meets Mrs.

Morrow, he appears to be a good-mannered and well-behaved teenager from Holden’s written account of his days leading up to his enlisting of professional help. He is extremely nice and polite to Mrs. Morrow, but he is constantly lying even when he is being nice to Ernest’s mother. Most obvious was his lying about Ernest being one of the most popular boys at the school. He told an untruth to his mother regarding Ernie refusing to be nominated for class president because he was too modest. Holden also lied to Mrs. Morrow about who he actually was and why his nose was bleeding.

Holden always seems to have an excuse of reason for why he lies to a person ranging from humor to lack of time: “I probably would’ve told her what really happened but it would’ve taken too long. I liked her, though. I was beginning to feel sort of sorry I told her my name was Rudolf Schmidt. Then I really started chucking the old crap around” (Salinger 56). Holden’s consistent lying would make him a disagreeable person once they got to know him, but since the people he constantly lied to were strangers, he appeared to be quite courteous. Part Four:

The patient, Holden Caulfield, doesn’t appear to become close with his friends and distances himself from them. This alienation of Holden causes some different views of Holden and how they perceive him. His peers seem to find him to be a good friend, but always seems to not want to get close or attached to someone. One example of this view of Holden is seen by Ward Stradlater. Stradlater, Holden’s roommate at Pencey Prep, is pretty good friends with Holden. Stradlater and Holden are pretty good friends to an extent where Holden would write a paper for him and Stradlater would give him a tie if he liked it a lot.

However, Holden seems to desire to alienate himself from his friends. The most likely assessment of this alienation is due to the death of his dear brother, Allie, and the suicide of his old friend. Holden attempts to alienate himself from Stradlater by attempting to convince himself that he does not like him and can’t stand him and his “phoniness”. In order to not get too close to Stradlater, he invents disliking his personal hygiene: “Stradlater was more of a secret slob. He always looked all right, Stradlater, but for instance, you should’ve seen the razor he shaved himself with.

The reason he fixed himself up to look good was because he was madly in love with himself” (Salinger 27). Holden attempts to separate himself by trying to find faults with Stradlater and trying to convince himself that he was too superficial, egotistical, and phony to be friends with. However, Stradlater views Holden to be a good friend, that was a little on the weird’ side that may get on your nerves sometimes, but all in all was a decent friend. Also his friend Robert Ackley, perceived Holden to be a decent and overall good kid, but he was sometimes quite annoying.

Holden and Ackley were friends but they took pleasure in annoying the other, but in the end Ackley did view Holden as a friend. One example of Ackley’s view of Holden is after Holden’s fight with Stradlater. Holden asks to sleep in Ackley’s roommate’s bed since he was away for the weekend and he didn’t want to return to his room with Stradlater. Ackley resisted at first, but Holden invited himself and Ackley didn’t resist any longer: “You’re a real prince. You’re a gentleman and a scholar, kid” (Salinger 48).

Ackley no longer cared if he slept in his room, but just let him slid by not saying anything. Part Five: Holden’s parents weren’t too much of an interactive part of Holden’s life. However they did attempt to provide him with the things he needed and some luxuries including a good education at Pencey Prep, roller skates, and extra cash. His father is a lawyer that is quite well off and invests extra cash in Broadway plays. He does not a have a real intimate relationship with the patient, his son.

However, he does love his son and attempts to provide for him with the money he makes. Also, they attempt to show they care about him and his future, but currently they are going through a though time with the death of Allie, so they just provide him with their money: “He’s a corporation lawyer. Those boys really haul it in. She hasn’t felt too healthy since my brother Allie died. She’s very nervous. That’s another reason why I hated like hell for her to know I got the ax again” (Salinger 107). This quote exemplifies Holden’s relationship with his parents.

There is a genuine love and care for Holden by his family, but they are distraught of Allie’s death to deal with Holden’s problems, which drove him to the edge and requiring professional help of a psychiatrist. They just view Holden as any other kid and don’t really see his problems to help him fix them. Part Six: First and foremost, the patient, Holden Caulfield, has built up hostility and anger towards the people in the world around him. From the onset of his description of the events, there is a noticeable amount of hostility in Holden that has been built up and caused him to go over the edge.

In the first few lines in which he communicates to the reader there is pent up aggression: “The first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it” (Salinger 1). From Holden’s written words it was clear that Holden had built up his aggression towards the world and it finally release during the weekend that forced him to require professional attention.

Secondly, Holden’s obsession with death is not typical of most adolescents. However this near obsession with death stems from witnessing two deaths of very close people. One death was the death of his old friend who committed suicide while wearing the patient’s sweater. The patient’s second experience with death was the death of his close and dear brother Allie, who died of leukemia and caused great grief. The patient, Holden, is upset and distraught over loosing his innocence by witnessing the reality of the adult world.

Holden’s expression of his life goal is a prime example of his unhappiness about loosing his innocence: “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliffI mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them” (Salinger 173). In this quote from Holden record of the three days he spent in New York, shows a metaphor, in which he compares a catcher in the rye to catching the children before they loose their innocence and are forced to step out in to the real world.

Through Holden’s commentary on his weekend, Holden feels that his innocence and childhood was snatched from him by witnessing the two deaths and forced to face the realities of the adult world. Holden desires a world in which people would be straightforward, sincere, “not phony”, and real. However he fails to realize that the world isn’t exactly like the way he imagined it to exist. Holden almost refuses to realize that “phoniness” must exist in the adult world in order to communicate and live without offending others.

Holden in a sense refuses to grow up and sees the world around him to be “phony”, which causes more tension and stress to the already delicate ego of the patient. Holden realizes at the age of sixteen that death does exist in the world and everybody is not naive and childlike as he once thought. With the death of two people he knew, Holden was forced to face the harsh reality of stepping out in to the adult world. Once, he saw the difference of this world rather than the childhood he lived in, he didn’t want to be a part of the adult world.

In order not to step out in to the world, Holden Caulfield invented phoniness, in which everything, anything, and everyone are classified as phony. In his attempt to find the phoniness in other people, Holden Caulfield fails to see or rather fail to address the hypocriticalness and phoniness in himself. Holden applies the word “phony” to represent superficiality, insincerity, hypocriticalness, boringness, and insecurity. While he searches for these traits in other people, he doesn’t see or recognize these traits in himself.

First, his superficiality is shown in his superficial attempt to date Sally Hayes, a girl he could not tolerate. He superficially asked her on a date, only because he had nothing better to do and because she was good looking: “She gave me a pain in the ass, but she was very good-looking” (Salinger 106). In this Holden’s realizes he is superficial in asking her out even though she was annoying, only because she was good looking. His insincerity is often displayed in his chronic lying problem. Also he is insincere, when he thinks about calling “old Jane Gallagher”.

Holden always makes some excuse to not call her: “Her mother answered, the phone, so I had to hang up. I didn’t feel like getting involved in a long conversation I didn’t feel like it. You really have to be in the mood for that stuff” (Salinger 116). Holden realizes and is starting to see these traits that he condemns so adamantly in himself. Seeing this in himself disturbs Holden to the point where it brings him to edge. This causes Holden to loose his grip on sanity and begins to no longer care about anything because the world was too phony and he was too phony and wanted to remain a child.

All these factors cause the patient to breakdown and to be institutionalized in our facilities. Holden Caulfield, the patient in room 5214, has a good chance of returning to a normal state of mind. However, Holden requires much therapy and one on one interaction with a therapist and a psychiatrist. Holden needs to be convinced that the world is decent and fine and he needs to grow up and step out into it. In order for this to happen he needs to overcome some of the hindrances in his path back to sanity.

First and foremost, Holden is a chronic liar. Secondly, Holden suffers from chronic depression suffered from occurrences in his life and his state of mind. Holden Caulfield needs to be immediately be placed on Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. Holden needs to attend an hourly session with a psychiatrist a minimum of three times a week to discuss his problems and how to overcome them. Holden Caulfield is capable of recovery, but will require intense work and help. A timeline for his recovery could be anywhere from three months to as long three years.

Currently, I believe it will take approximately six months for Holden to fully recover based on his interactions with the staff here at Bergen Pines. When asked by a psychoanalyst about applying himself in school next year, his response was, “It’s such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean how do you know what you’re going to do till you do it? ” (Salinger 213). In this response, there are remnants of hostility and anger remaining him Holden, which would make me believe it would take a full year in order for him to recover.

However, in Holden’s account it states, “I sort of miss everybody I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance. I think I even miss that goddam Maurice” (Salinger 214). In this statement, it makes me believe that Holden is already working to return back on the path of sanity, because he lets go of the phony business and outright states he is beginning to miss his friends and the people he met. This is a sign that shows me he is bound to recover as soon as six months.

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