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Why did Holden's parents want to have him psychoanalyzed in The Catcher in the Rye? 

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swang1 | Salutatorian

Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:59 AM via web

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Why did Holden's parents want to have him psychoanalyzed in The Catcher in the Rye

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ophelious | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted October 1, 2009 at 11:28 AM (Answer #1)

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Holden is not a stable personality.  We don't know much about his psychological state before his brother died, but afterwards he was a little emotionally unbalanced. He did not process the death of his brother very well (if anyone ever processes something like well) and the night Allie dies he sleeps in the garage and proceeds to break all the windows with his bare hands.  In addition, Holden has been getting drubbed out of all the nice, expensive, exclusive schools his parents keep getting him enrolled in.  For these reasons, his parents want to have him psychoanalyzed to see if they can determine what is "wrong" with him.  They don't seem to think that sending him away on his own for long periods of time has anything to do with his inability to get along in life.  Their solution is to turn to mental health professionals instead of perhaps giving him the attention he needs.

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