Holden is not mentally ill; he is just a misunderstood teenager that has many
obstacles to overcome, more than most teens his age. Holden has had to overcome the death of his brother as well as having problems with his schooling and flunking out. He has had many random things in his life happen that have impacted his life and that effect him throughout the story. When his brother died Holden really was hurt by that he tried not to show it but deep down it was rather obvious that he was deeply affected by this tragedy. Holden didn’t have much in his life but there was one single thing that he cherished profoundly and that was the glove that originally was his brother’s prized possession. Holden demonstrates many traits of a depressed young teenager by acting out and having racing thoughts about things most young teens don’t really worry about.
Holden’s biggest barrier he has had to overcome throughout his life would have to be the death of his brother; at a young age this would deeply affect anyone to lose a sibling and a best friend. This I believe this was were Holden’s problems began with his depression by acting out and distancing himself from others. Throughout this story there are many situations were he has been in a position were he was either embarrassed or didn’t feel comfortable and he didn’t know how to assess the problem so he would act out with violence or hatred towards another person like when he punched his roommate for mocking him. Another example of his behavior was when he didn’t pay the prostitute because he didn’t fully go through with the deal they had made and got himself into a little scrap with the prostitutes “pimp” Maurice, where he actually ended up getting beat up for his bad decisions.
Low self-esteem was another huge difficulty throughout his life, Holden didn’t have much confidence in himself and very and his accomplishments which made him gradually dig a deeper hole into his low self esteem. Holden would often pass off going to do things that your average teen would do like hanging out with friends simply because he didn’t have many people skills. Holden really liked one girl but he had very low self confidence so he never told her how he felt once again because he didn’t develop a lot of people skills to communicate with others.
Parents are a huge part of growing up and guidance and that’s another step in his life that wasn’t quite there. Holden’s parents never really pushed him to succeed like they did for his other brother. Since Holden didn’t excel in school like his brother his parents kind of lost interest in him and then he ended up losing interest in schooling as well. Eventually Holden actually flunked out of school which is another example of low self confidence towards his well being, by not being pushed by his parents he simply lost motivation. His parents could have helped with getting him counseling but he didn’t go along with what that wanted for him after a while he was lost and didn’t have a plan for himself and what he wanted to do with his life.
Mental is a very over used word especially in his case I believe that a better way to describe this would be just a misunderstood teen with not real adult figure in his life to help him get his life in order. This is why I believe that Holden is your average teen with that took a different path then most would and it ended up being not a very sturdy path to follow.
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