Cultural Assumption 2: Mental Health in The Catcher in the Rye
Mental illness in the 1950's was not accepted in society. You became an outcast if your behaviour and actions weren't the same as others. Throughout Catcher in the Rye, Holden's actions and behaviour match that of psychological disorders. J.D. Salinger conveyed this through his use of different language techniques of Holden. J.D. Salinger's repetition of Holden experiencing headaches, nausea, worrying, dizziness and eventually passing out tells us that there's something wrong with Holden, more than your average teenager in the 1950's. J.D. Salinger has also used emotive language and colloquial language. An example of emotive language is when Holden has violent outbreaks, like breaking all the windows in the garage the night Allie died, or tackling Stradlater after his date with Jane or screaming at Sally in public. An example of colloquial language is "flunking" out of multiple boarding schools. Holden seems to be depressed all the time. All of these symptoms that Holden is expressing tells us that he has a mental illness. This may include anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
J.D. Salinger challenges the cultural assumption of mental health in the 1950's through Holden as more people were trying to help himthese including Mr Spenser and his sister Pheobe. Ackley and Stradlater, on the other hand, would ignore Holden and his negative ways. Salinger also challenges this idea by illustrating negative thoughts through Holden.