Mr. Antolini (an English teacher) tells Holden, "I have a feeling that you're riding for some kind of terrible, terrible fall" (pg. 168). This quote sums up Holden's experiences that happen throughout the novel. It is important to include HHolden's past because it has affected everything he does and contributes to his feelings of loneliness, depression and confusion.Some common causes that apply to Holden's particular case are: unresolved grief: as far as we know, Holden never received closure about his brother Allie's death or the suicide of a fellow student, James Castle, academic problems: Holden failed out of three separate private schools, social stress: Holden tries and fails to connect to several characters such as Sunny and Sally Hayes throughout the novel and death of a family member, Allie.
The beginning of the novel begins with Holden explaining to the reader that he'll "just tell you about this madman stuff that happened around last Christmas." (pg. 1) This is the first sign that Holden gives of his mentality being unstable. As Holden prepares to leave Pencey, it is known that he has failed all of his classes except for English. However, it is noticed that Holden happens to be intelligent. Though Holden does seems to have a problem with the rules and people of society. Holden's fight with his roommate Stradlater could be a result of built-up stress and frustration towards the "phonies and jerks" that were at Pencey. When he was in New York he continued to encounter more people who increased his anger with society and only added to his mental state of well being.
The later chapters in the novel seem show more