The Catcher in the Rye: Mental Health Services and Social Connections for Children

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, was required reading for my tenth grade English class. I remembered it as a story about the struggles of adolescence, the yearning for independence, and the reluctance to let go of youth. My son is now about the same age as I was when I read the book and we are living through his own nudge for independence, which sparked my interest to give the story another read. Before I began, I wondered what my take on the book would be at this point in life having survived adolescence and received training and experience in child development in addition to having a teen in the house. This reading accentuated the unresolved grief, family dysfunction, mental illness, and lack of social connectedness of the main character, Holden Caulfield, and how these difficulties exacerbate the issues experienced during the typical maturational process. As the … Read More