catcher in the rye1

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Throughout the novel, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield's actions conveyed his deteriorating mental health. Holden endured a troubled childhood and adolescence. Several years prior to the opening of the novel, Holden's younger brother, Allie, died of leukemia. Since then, various boarding schools, most recently Pency Prep, expelled Holden because of his poor grades and lack of effort. Instead of confronting his parents with the news of his latest failure, Holden …

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…death and illness, as well as his poor communication skills gave reason to place Holden in a mental institution. His experiences and thoughts in New York City definitively proved this idea. These included Holden's encounters with people, such as Mrs. Morrow and Maurice, and his reactions to different situations, demonstrated by his immediate thought of death in connection to wet hair. Holden developed into a mentally instable person because of his troubled childhood and adolescence.