American Lit 12, March 2012 Depression Catcher Do you have helpless outlook on your life? One minute it’s an outburst of anger. The next you’re crying uncontrollably. Do you need help? The Catcher In The Rye is a novel based of the main character’s point of view, his name is Holden Caulfield. Set in 1950s New York and California, where Holden is a mental hospital telling us, the readers, about his few days after leaving Pency. The movie Ferris’ Bullers Day Off , also set in Chicago, is a movie based in the 1980s. Ferris makes his friends skip school and run all around town trying to make Cameron have fun.
In both the film and novel, you see many examples of depression and suicidal thoughts from both Holden and Cameron. Teenagers face a lot of pressures, from puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. In The Catcher In The Rye, Holden runs away from his fancy high school, Pency, 3 days before break begins. He felt isolated with no friends. “I almost wished I was dead” (48). Holden had just gotten in a fight with his roommate, Stradlater. Now Ackley was trying to have a conversation about the fight with Holden but he keeps talking nonsense to Ackley.
In Ferris’ Buellers Day Off, Cameron, Ferris’ best friend always seems to be sick. His family isn’t really in his life and when they are, they seems to only bring him down. In the beging scene of Cameron, he is in bed acting like he’s dying. Holden says: “.. she wouldn’t’ve been the ones that answered the phone. My parents would be the ones. So that was out” (pg. 59). He doesn’t seem to have a great relationship with his parents either. Holden wants to talk to his little sister Pheobe or anyone for that matter. He feels isolated within himself which makes him depressed.
Cameron is the same in that he is very awkward and no one really seems to want to be friends with him. Towards the end of the book, Holden takes a visit to see Pheope but is unable to find her. He looks in the park and museum. “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deer would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and their pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom ould still be weaving that same blanket” (pg. 121). Therefore, Holden would love to live in a world where everything stays frozen, where nothing changes. This way, Holden can never grow up to be an adult. Cameron is very mad after they got the car back because of all the miles that were added. He goes in to shock and is unable to move. Ferris and Sloan try their best to get him out of it but he won’t budge. While at the pool, Cameron falls in, almost committing suicide. Ferris jumps in to save.
Cameron starts to laugh saying “I got you good”. Holden goes home to find Pheobe. Phoebe is the only person Holden seems to actually like and have a stable friendship throughout the novel. She is the only one who tries to push him to do better: “You don’t like any schools. You don’t like a million things” (pg. 169). When Holden hears this, he becomes upset and states: “`I do! That’s where you’re wrong-that’s exactly where you’re wrong! Why the hell do you have to say that”‘ I said. Boy, was she depressing me. Holden and Cameron are depressed teenagers who have suicidal thoughts because of depression. Depression: severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feeling of hopelessness and inadequacy, a condition of mental disturbance, typicaly with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life. People who are depressed don’t look for a way out. They have zero motivation and are always second guessing stuff. They think the only way out is death; suicide. Just like what Holden and Cameron seem to feel.
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