2. Mental Health
In the 1950's Mental health was something that wasn't acknowledged as much as it is today. People had no idea how to react or treat the illnesses. It was assumed that mental health patients were non-human and out casts. They were treated by being put into intentions and being put in different categories of mental health.
This cultural assumption is shown in the novel with the use of the speech of Holden Caulfield. Throughout the novel Holden uses repetitive words like nervous, worried and depressed. A pacific example of this is when Holden says "I guess it was because I was feeling so damn depressed and lonesome". This is showing that Holden Caulfield is lonely but try's to deal with it by drinking and smoking.
Throughout the structure of the novel. J.D Salinger challenges the assumption of Holden Caulfield having mental health. I am assuming Holden has mental health. As he is someone who is nervous, always gets headaches, has anxiety and cannot seek help. “I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot. ” Holden is someone who can be unconfident and not sure what to do in rough situations.
But through this J.D Salinger quotes at the end that he does not have mental health, Holden is just lonely
Therefore we can determine that J.D Salinger challenges the idea of Mental Health in the 1950's by the assumptions shown in this novel, Holden uses and the structure of the novel.