Catcher in the Rye

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  • Insanity / Mental Health
  • Hi. My name is Holden Caulfield. I flunked out of Pencey along with several other schools. I'm on my way home but I don't think I can see my family yet. I've always wanted to go to New York so I think I'm going to go there before I head home. While in New York I will do many things. I will try to sneak into bars and explore new things. I get into some fights and meet some new people. Closer to when I can go home I sneak into my house to see my sister Phoebe. My brother D.B. is in Hollywood and my other brother Allie died of cancer.
  • Scene 1: Holden just got beat up by Maurice
  • "But I'm crazy. I swear to God I am. About halfway to the bathroom, I sort of started pretending I had a bullet in my guts. Old Maurice had plugged me. Now I was on the way to the bathroom to get a good shot of bourbon or something to steady my nerves and help me really go into action" (Salinger 116).
  • Scene Two: Holden is on the train reading an article
  • "Then I read this other article about how you can tell if you have cancer or not. It said if you had any sores in your mouth that didn't heal pretty quickly it was a sign you probably had cancer. I'd had this sore on the inside of my lip for about two weeks. So I figured I was getting cancer. That magazine was some cheerer upper" (Salinger 215).
  • Insanity is when you are in a state of being seriously mentally ill or a state of madness. Mentally ill means that your thinking, mood and behavior are being affected by a mental illness.
  • In this scene Holden had just been beaten up by Maurice for the "extra $5" he owes the prostitute he hired, Sunny. When they leave Holden makes his way into the bathroom to clean himself up and starts to imagine that instead of being beaten up, Maurice had shot him. Holden has a state of insanity and mental health because he puts himself into scenarios that are not true.
  • In this scene, Holden had just left Mr. Anotlini's house after waking up to him staring at Holden while he was sleeping. He says he is going to the train station to pick up his bags. While he is there he finds a magazine on the bench and starts to read it. Holden starts to believe everything in the magazine he is reading which is a sign that he is going insane.
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