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Kaetlin Rich
Mr. Sira
CP English 3
Period 2
June 6, 2016
Holden's Words
I pulled up to this god awful factory type building. You should've seen the freak show of
phonies that paraded the entrance of the building. The goddamn lights were so dim, I could
barely see where I was going. I made my way into the dump of the crowd and sat at a bench
connected to the side of the wall. The bench was short and weak, that killed me. To have so many
goddamn people in the one place and absolutely no where to sit. The phonies in the crowd all had
messed up faces, and when I say messed up faces I mean they had the type of face that looked as
though you just hit them from behind with a baseball bat. They had stupid haircuts too, all
different colors and what not. I mean what kind of idiot shaves their head in three places, paints
it green or whatever goddamn color, and spikes it sky high to the ceiling.
Anyway the first band hopped up on stage and began to yell in the microphone. The guy
wasnt singing he was yelling, and the band sounded like they were playing with broken
instruments. The sound of the goddamn clashing made me cringe, if you want to know the truth.
But what caught my eye the most were these bastards in the crowd. They began running in a
goddamn circle and pushing each other around like a barroom brawl, that killed me. They were
enjoying pushing each other down and picking them back up like it was some goddamn domino
game.

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Out of the corner of my eye is see this tiny little kid is this over sized band shirt. He
looked so hopeless just standing in the crowd with all of those morons, holding on to his dads
hand for dear life. That depressed the hell out of me, to see this tiny little kid in the middle of so
much chaos. It just didnt seems fair, I mean what kind of parent drags their kid into something
like that. He just stood there looking scared and confused and all. It made me so mad, I felt like
going straight up to his dad and punching him square in the face, but I wasnt in the mood. All I
could think about was how lousy this it was.
Anyway, this ugly looking fellow approached me. He had all this metal hanging from his
face and his clothes had all these spikes in it and all. Boy, this guy had to be the biggest phony
Id ever seen in my entire life. He sat down next to me casual as hell. The guy was sweating like
a like a pig. He looked so pathetic just sitting there with that dopey smile on his face, you had to
feel sorry for him. The lousy music and lousy people started to get to me if you want to know the
truth. The whole show turned out pretty lousy if you want to know the truth.

Holdens Diagnosis

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In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, a teenage boy named Holden
Caulfield tells the story of his life though his eyes. In this we see the distress that Holden is in
whether it is emotionally or physical. Holden has been suffering from an untreated case of Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental disorder that can
occur on one's life after a traumatic event. (What is PTSD?. 2016)These traumatic events can be
include by seeing, hearing, or experiencing some kind of trauma at anytime in their life. People
who suffer from this disorder can face problems such as feelings of hopelessness, shame,
depression or anxiety, substance abuse problems, relationship problems, and difficulty keeping a
job.(What is PTSD?. 2016) Because of these symptoms, PTSD can affect almost all aspects of
one's everyday life in terms of family, sleep, relationships, scholastics, and work ethic.
It is obvious that Holden has experienced traumatic events in his life that has lead him up
to this point. The first event to argue is the death of his younger brother Allie. He was the most
intelligent member in the family. He was also the nicest, in lots of ways.(Salinger 38) It is clear
by this quote that Holden thought very highly of his little brother Allie and that is probably why
losing his brother so abruptly in his life had such an impact on him emotionally. Holden admits
to having quite a violent reaction in the garage the night Allie died. I broke all the goddam
windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. I even tried to break the windows on the station
waggon we had that summer, but my hand was already broken.(Salinger 39) Holdens violent
response is a common response to a person who has experienced such heavy emotional trauma.
Another traumatic event in that Holden has experienced in his life was the death of his former
classmate, James Castle. Holden tells of how he could hear the sound of James body hitting the
ground and seeing his teeth, and blood, were all over the place.(Salinger 170) Although
Holden didnt know James Castle very well, hearing and seeing the result of James suicide will

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forever haunt him. It also appears that Holden is a victim of sexual abuse throughout his
childhood. When Holden sleeps over at his old teachers house, he is awakened by his former
teacher patting his head. This causes Holden to have a bit of a nervous breakdown and leads to
him leaving the residence. I know more damn perverts, at schools and all,then anyone you have
ever met, and they are always being pervy with me.(Salinger 192) The fact that Holden has
been attending private schools such as these almost all of this life gives a big hint that there has
been abuse present in his life.
Holden has experienced the death of his brother, witnessed the suicide of his former
classmate, and potential sexualy abuse his whole life. Knowing these event thats have occurred
you start to see the signs and symptoms of PTSD present is Holden's personality and actions.
Holden talks a lot about not sleeping and at first it seemed as though he was just worried about
being kicked out of school but it progresses to the point where he actually tries to make himself
stay awake. Most people who have PTSD have trouble sleeping because of reoccurring
nightmares of the traumatic event they experienced. Another Symptom of PTSD include negative
changes in his/her beliefs.(Symptoms of PTSD. 2016) Holden makes it very clear that he has
turned his back to the acceptance of god. Although Holden used to believe in god, the traumatic
events that occurred in his life, such as losing his brother, has brought him so question the idea of
god in which he concludes that there is no god. Holden experiences many other symptoms such
as anxiety and inability to build relationships, like with Jane Gallagher, but that just proves the
point that Holden Caulfield is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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Symbolic Portrait: Over All Understanding


This symbolic portrait is about my overall understanding of The Catcher in the Rye. In
this picture Holden Sits at the edge of a cliff in a rye field; this represents Holdens dream of
being the Catcher in the Rye. I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff- I mean
if theyre running and they dont look where they are going, I have to come out from somewhere
and catch them.(Salinger 173) But Holden is no longer catching them because he has learned
that you cant save every child from growing up its a part of life and innocence cant be kept
forever. If they fall off, they fall off, but its bad if you say anything to them.(Salinger 211) The
children falling represent the loss of innocence in Holdens eyes. The window at the bottom of

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the cliff is symbolic of the lesson that James Castle has though Holden. That lesson was that
there is really nothing you can do to stop people from making the decisions they are going to
make. The windows also represent life and the paths it can lead us to, such as death, addiction
etc. The cracks in the windows represent how sometimes people slip through the cracks because
of the decisions they make. The window pane represents that not everyone that grows up and
loses their innocence ends up a bad person. And the of course the hunting hat represents how
throughout the story Holden has been trying to protect himself, My hunting hat really gave me
quite a lot of protection, in a way(Salinger 212). There are many lessons and themes in this
book but one of the most important lessons to be learned is that you cant save everyone and that
no one can save you except for yourself

WORK CITED
Novels:
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Little, Brown and
Company,
1951. June 7, 2016
Websites:
PTSD: National Center for PTSD. What is PTSD?-N.p., n.d Web. 07
June 2016
PTSD: NAtional Center for PTSD. Anger and Trauma- N.p., n.d Web. 07
June
2016