Mental Illness in the 1950's
Mental illness in the 1950's was not considered "ok". It was an odd thing to have an illness that involved 'mind games' as such. People were very off put by people with mental illnesses. They were very fearful of these people & didn’t really know how to take them until institutes were brought in & put in place to help these certain people with their illnesses. Caulfield doesn't directly say he has mental illnesses, but we assume he has some issues through his speech, his comments to us, the reader, telling us he is anxious, feels nervous & sick. he mention these things to us as he is portraying that he has a mental illness because of the events occurring & his reaction to them. "I was anxious as hell to see it," J.D Sallinger uses this quote, said by Caulfield to prove hisd anxiousness in situations. He repeats this many times through the novel & really pushes the point. "I was getting sort of nervous, all of a sudden. I'm quite a nervous guy." J.D Sallinger challenges this through proving a point of maybe mental illness comes from the pressure of their daily lives not just something that occurs. "I was too depressed to care whether I had a good view or not" Caulfield tells us about his feelings about being depressed, nervous & anxious but J.D Sallinger doesn't directly challenge this. We have to assume the pressure of teenage delinquency & conformity is getting to Caulfield & makes him feel this way. Yet another way this can be challenged by Sallinger is the worry Caulfield has about the future in reality. "She said I was wild and that I had no direction in life." "And I think I was more depressed than I ever was in my whole life." It was obvious & assumed life for Caulfield was stressful, & we assume his indirect comment on his mental illnesses play a part. This is purposely done by Sallinger.