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Catcher in the Rye

Psychoanalysis of Holden Caulfield & Andrew Largeman.
by

Marla Burke

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Catcher in the Rye

Garden State Andrew Largeman returns home for his mothers funeral where he is reconnected with old acquaintances and is "awakened" from his state of depression and anxiety after meeting Sam. Andrew has been prescribed drugs his entire life from his father, who doubles as his therapist. Andrew, who is more straightforward about his condition, can also be psychoanalyzed. Catcher in the Rye 17 year old Holden Caulfield tells the story of two significant days in 1949 before being hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. After being expelled from high school for failing his classes, Holden spends the weekend in New York roaming the city and spending time with a variety of people: a teacher, his younger sister, some acquantinces and a prostitute. His anxieties stem from the death of his younger brother, Allie, as well as the insecurities of growing up. His younger sister Phoebe seems to be the only person that Holden actually likes. The story is told in first person, making it easy to analyze his actions via Freud. The Catcher in the Rye
& Garden State Through a Psychoanalytical Frame Marla Burke Sigmund Freud Freud developed the theory of psychoanalysis which can be explained as the following:

1. A persons personality, likes and dislikes are formed through childhood experiences.
2. Human behavior is sexually driven and mostly unconscious.
3. Conflicts between the id and superego can result in depression and anxiety, which we see in both Andrew and Holden Sexual Repression Death Andrew is coping with the death of his mother who drowned in a bathtub. She was a paraplegic for the majority of her life after Andrew got upset and pushed her, causing her to hit her neck and become paralyzed from the head down. Because of this, Andrew distanced himself from his family for several years, only returning home for her funeral.

Holden is still struggling with the death of his younger brother Allie, who died from leukemia at 11. Because Holden doesn't have any role models, he idealizes Allie as being the nicest, smartest, best person in the world. Perhaps this is why Holden spends the entirety of the book trying to save the innocence of children around him, hoping to be "the catcher in the rye." According to Freud, Holden experiencing death at such a young age could be the reason for his cynical personality as well as anxiety. Final Project
English 103-26 Both characters are sexually repressed. Holden seems to be confused about his sexuality and possibly gay. He believes sex is degrading and refuses to "do crumby stuff" to a girl he likes. Andrew is insecure about his relationship with Sam and fears ruining the relationship by making the first move. He is generally emotionless and does not seem to connect well to people. Anxiety and Depression Andrews anxiety stems from coping with death while also being heavily medicated. When getting a second doctors opinion on the drugs he's on, the doctor is shocked at the amount and dosage that his father prescribed to him for many years. Andrew has not learned to deal with feelings for so long because of his medication.

Holden's depression and anxiety is created from the pressure of having to grow up and live in the "real" adult world. While he tries to do adult things (drink, smoke, and curse) he continues to resort back to his child-like instincts where he is insecure and still dealing with the death of Allie. Holden is mentally and emotionally numb, causing him to be angry and often distracted. Resolved Conflicts and Happy Endings The difference between these two stories is the way the plots are resolved. In Garden State, Andrew decides to not return home to California after the funeral and instead stays in New Jersey with Sam. They live happily ever after.

Conversely, The Catcher in the Rye is quite ambiguous and ends abruptly without any real resolution. Holden spends a day with Phoebe, seemingly achieving the human contact he needed. While watching Phoebe ride a carousel, he describes the happiness he is feeling, for the first time in the book. It is revealed that Holden is telling the story from a hospital where he is being held for a nervous breakdown. He says he is starting a new school in the fall, where he may start to apply himself, but he doesn't really want to talk about it. www.youtube.com/watch?v=u82n0e1mgmQ
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