Mental Health

Mental health in the 1950's was something that wasn’t acknowledged as much as it is today and was treated very differently. In the book "the catcher in the rye", the author J.D Salinger incorporates the cultural assumption of mental health by using techniques such as repetitive language in a way that makes the audience feel the exaggeration and realise the signs of depression and loneliness that the character is showing. In the text Holden repeats that he is depressed and a very nervous person which is shown in the text when he sys for example "I was a little nervous. I was starting to feel a little sexy but I was a little nervous anyway". By using the word 'nervous" repetitively we get the sense that he is overthinking things and is sign of mental health issues. J.D Salinger demonstrates challenge of cultural assumption by using structure of the text and constantly shows us that his parents are absent and he is alone, which is the reason why he is showing signs of mental health issues. In the text Salinger is constantly keeping him by himself and is never with his parents. This motif of loneliness is also shown in the text as Holden is sent off to Pencey Prep which is a boarding school, to then be kicked out of that and return home to just his sister and no parents. This is giving Holden the signs of mental health issues even though he may not be depressed like he says, but just lonely as he is craving the presence of his parents or just people in the end of the novel ,we learn that Holden is then sent off to military school to be once again alone.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

The cultural assumption is expressed clearly at the start of the text, but not quite thoroughly. The examples are very relevant to the cultural assumption and gives you a further understanding of it. The elements of the novel are stated but I think more than one can be identified in the chosen novel. The link to the time and place where the novel was written is stated clearly at the start of the text. I also cannot locate where you have given your own opinion about the cultural assumption. A similarity to my novel is that they were both written in the 1950's. The language used is very sophisticated and used appropriately.