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Holden Caulfield's Journey from Depression to Happiness

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Imagine that you are living in the middle of the 1950s and you are located in the middle of New York City, ordering a smoothie from a store with your girlfriend. You look ahead and watching her eyes glow beautifully. But assume then your girlfriend disappears one day and leaving you with an untouchable smoothie all alone. That is what the protagonist of the novel, Holden Caulfield feels like. Holden is a 16 years old teenager living in America. He has been going through a lot, both mentally and physically. another crucial moment in his life was when his little brother Allie died, and the only memory he has is the baseball mitt.

This makes Holden Caulfield depressed because of the memories of his childhood would reappear to his adulthood. Holden ignored any consequences while he left the school and was heading out to New York. New York made him more lonely and depressed than he could ever be. He was alone and did not have anyone to talk to. 'What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window.' (page104). He mentions this when he arrives at the motel in New York. His mother would be upset if she knew that he went to New York without her permission. He did not want to go back home because of the embarrassment of himself.

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Not only would his mother be upset with him but also would his father be angry at him. Furthermore, he says 'I wasn't sleepy or anything, but I was feeling sort of lousy. Depressed and all. I almost wished I was dead' (page90). Holden mentions this just after one day in the motel. However, he is explaining a lot of impacts of depressions. Despite this Holden does not realize what he is going through “That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.” (173). He does not realize how he should stop getting thoughts about his lifestyle. For instance, Holden mentions that he loves Sally but in reality, he does not love her.

Furthermore, he says that everything he said he meant it, but it was a lie. “I told her I loved her and all. It was a lie, of course, but the thing is, I meant it when I said it. I’m crazy, I swear to God I am” (125). Not only did Holden fell in love with Sally, but he also wanted to make a plan with Sally to run away. Holden is a teenager who shows many emotions in his journey, for instance, loneliness. At the beginning of the novel, He moves to New York City where he stays at a hotel room. While he is staying the night at the hotel, someone offers him a prostitute, and he accepts it. The prostitute was not a girl Holden wanted to sleep with. Instead, he just wanted to have a conversation with her.

While he talked to her, he took his chance to express himself. So he told her if she 'felt' for 'talking for a while' (95). He expresses his feeling of loneliness, but however, this is not the only time he shows his feeling and in a need for a conversation. Further on in the novel, he gets a connection with his ex-girlfriend

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Holden Caulfield’s Journey from Depression to Happiness. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from
“Holden Caulfield’s Journey from Depression to Happiness.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022,
Holden Caulfield’s Journey from Depression to Happiness. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Feb. 2024].
Holden Caulfield’s Journey from Depression to Happiness [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2024 Feb 24]. Available from:
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