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Parodies and Psychology of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Saldinger By Erika Davis and Emma Malcom
Parodies of Catcher in the Rye • parodies-a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing • Parodies of Catcher in the Rye include Caught by Ian Fraizer, Catch her in the Oatmeal, Bunch of Phonies Mourn J.D. Saldinger, and Search for Self Called off After 38 Years by the Onion • These stories take themes and characters from Catcher in the Rye and exaggerate them to mock J.D. Saldinger’s novel
Why? • The voice, Catcher is written in a very casual, informal voice "this one psychoanalyst guy they have here” • The novel has themes of isolation and distance for society as a superior quality, teens like this are very easy to make fun of. • Catcher is iconic in the literary world, anything with a lot of attention in the media will receive a lot of attention from people making parodies
Aspects of Parodies • all of the parodies mentioned prior poke fun at Saldinger’s concept of “phonies” and general disconnect to society. • these parodies exaggerate the inferiority of people who conform to society and an “I’m different” complex. • Catcher parodies characterize Holden as pretentious and almost whiny
Examples • Caught by Ian Fraizer is about a coyote living in Central Park who believes that he is superior to the coyotes who live in the wild • Catch her in her Oatmeal is even more of a satire writing. It the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears written like Catcher is. Goldie is very cynical and pretentious and thinks society is a dull formality. • The other two parodies were written for The Onion and call those who mourned Saldinger’s death “phonies” and said the desire to be separate from society is trivial
Psychological Problems • psychological problem-a mental or behavioral pattern that causes stress or social disabilities • Social disabilities include having trouble talking to people, anxiety, etc. • Many critics argue that Holden is suffering from a psychological problem in Catcher in the Rye. • Other critics believe Holden is simply being a teenager.
Argument One: Holden suffers from psychological problems • When examined from a clinical standpoint, it appears Holden suffers from depression, ADHD, PTSD, and other psychological problems. • Depression: he admits to suicidal thoughts, though he also admits there was no serious intent behind them • ADHD: he can’t seem to keep still, he always needs a distraction (i.e. striking matches for fun or when he’s bored, etc.) • PTSD: having gone through extreme circumstances as a child (being a witness to suicide and his younger brother dying), he shows symptoms such as trouble falling asleep expectation to die young.
Argument Two: Holden suffers from being a teenager • Professional outlook aside, the symptoms that Holden shows are also found in psychologically stable teenagers • Teens are moody, indecisive, rambunctious people • Going through adolescence is a struggle that puts a lot of pressure on the teen. • Not all teens think they “fit in” or belong where they are. • Social problems are common in teenagers • High school sucks