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Catcher in the Rye Essay

Is Holden Caufield, out of the novel catcher in the rye written by J. D. Salinger insane in a sane world or sane in an insane world? But really what defines sane and insane this is what will be brought to attention through out this essay. According to the dictionary definition insane is some one of a not sound mind, mentally damaged or deranged or utterly senseless.

Other definitions state that insanity craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviour characterised by certain abnormal mental or behavioural patterns. Insanity may manifest as violations of societal norms, including a person becoming a danger to them selves or others. Where as sanity is defined as free from mental damage derangement, having a sound and healthy mind mind, having or showing reason, sound judgment or good sense.

But in my opinion insanity is just some one out side of the norm in society’s narrow minded views. Some one who is differentiating in there points of view from what has be come the strait and normal. Society has drawn these box out lines of what is sane and in sane especially in the era that Holden grew up in. Holden is a basic young boy who differentiates from the norm a little in his characteristics, he is a little bit more head strong and aware of the realities of the world and portrayed society.

Though he is generally of a rational sane mind at the beginning of the book there are a few occasions where the cracks start to show and you can catch glimpses of his “insanity” can be seen such as when Stradlater takes Jane out one night on a date and Holden states that though he has a few blank patches of memory he can remember being by the window staring out at nothing consumed in worry and dark thoughts, when Stradlater returns that night Holden shows uncharacteristic anger and rage that he can not contain resulting in him hitting Stradlater in the side of the head and when Stradlater holds him down Holden screams vulgar profanities at him in a fit of rage.


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