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09/14/2010

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You may be on to something there Franko, but i think that there might still be something minorly wrong with his brain. First of all, even if it is normal for people to go a little crazy after the death of a loved one, that still means they've gone a little crazy. Also, yeah everyone thinks random things sometimes but he does it too often, making me think he might have ADHD or something.

In 1951, American written published a novel title “the Catcher in the Rye”. This novel would soon become extremely popular, criticized and found controversial. The protagonist Holden Caulfield is often spoken about as being insane. Holden does show a lot of bizarre behavior and shows many symptoms of schizophrenia. Holden does suffer from mental instability, but maybe not full blown mental illness.
A well-known symptom of schizophrenia is having delusions. Holden clearly shows having a delusion near the end of the book in Ch. 15. He says “…All of a sudden… every time I came to end of the of a block and stepped of the goddam curb, I had this feeling that I’d never get to the other side of the street. I’d thought I’d go down, down, down, and nobody’d ever see me again.”(pg. 197-198) That is proof enough that that Holden is not sane. Sane people don’t have delusions. He is thinking that he is going to disappear. And it’s not even all that simple. He only feels he’s going to go “down” when he is on the street, never on the side walk. While this is happening, he is praying, begging, to his dead brother, Allie, to not “let (him) disappear” (pg. 198) . That does not seem like normal adolescent behavior to me. Even in depressed adolescents. That is a sign of mental instability. Other symptoms of schizophrenia are; childlike behavior (Holden is not the most mature teenager; his 10 year old sister is more mature than he is, and he is 16!), bizarre behavior (this one is just impossible to deny), problems paying attention, and difficulty sleeping (over the course of almost 3 days, Holden sleeps around 6-10 hours, maybe less).
In the very end of the book, Holden shows some very bizarre behavior; illogical and irrational behavior. It is the middle of December in New York City. It got so cold one night that chunks of ice formed in Holden’s hair. [some more bizarre behavior; he leaves a bar, In the middle of the night, drunk, with hair so wet it drips, so he goes to central park and sits down on a bench. (pg. 154)] As he is watching his sister Phoebe on the carousel, he tells us “Boy it began to rain like a bastard. In buckets… Everyone went and stood under the roof of the carousel, so they wouldn’t get soaked…, But I stuck around on the bench for quite a while.” (pg. 212) Again, December, New York, so cold it froze over night, and its “raining buckets” Despite all this, our dear friend Holden decided to stick around in the freezing rain, even though he could just stand under the carousel and stay dry, like “All the parents and mothers and everybody” (pg. 212) was doing. I know quite a few “normal” adolescents and being one myself, I can assure you utmost certainty, that that is not “normal adolescent behavior”.
One last point to make, Holden told us about halfway through the book that “What (he) really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would have done it… if.. somebody’d cover me up as soon as I landed.” (pg. 104) YOU ARE NOT MENTALLY STABLE IF YOU CONSIDER SUICIDE! But that’s not even all there is too it. He tells us the only thing that stopped him from killing himself I that people would stare at his body, and he didn’t want that. There was no sympathy for what his family would feel, what it would be like for their parents it 2 of their children died. No, he just “…didn’t want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory.” (pg. 104)

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