Depression outline – the catcher in the rye essay sample

INTRODUCTION
Grabber and general statement

Take a moment to look to your right, now to your left. Either side of you they could have symptoms of depression.

Thesis Statement (your argument)

Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger, 1951) shows signs that he is suffering from depression.

Directional Statement (The points you are going to use to support your argument)

He demonstrates several symptoms of depression including lack of sleep, lack of interest, and feelings of guilt. Holden also considers suicide and is obsessed with death.

BODY OF ESSAY
Topic Sentence of first paragraph

First symptom of depression that I will be talking about is Holden’s lack of sleep.

Examples and supporting details

According to Health Canada (2009), “ a loss of appetite or a change in sleep patterns” is a symptom of depression. Holden demonstrates this on page 66 when he says, “ The one thing I hate to do is go to bed when I’m not even tired.” Holden demonstrates this on page 90 when he says, “ I wasn’t sleepy or anything, but I was feeling sort of lousy.” Holden demonstrates this on page 104 when he says, “ It took me quite a while to get to sleep—I wasn’t even tired—but finally I did. What I really felt lik, thought, was committing suicide.” Page 98 “ Boy, I felt miserable. I felt so depressed, you can’t imagine. What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get very depressed.” Holden demonstrates this on page 105 when he says, “ I didn’t sleep too long, because I think it was only around ten o’clock when I woke up.” Only time Holden slept was demonstrated on page 194. “ My bags were there and all, and I figured I’d sleep in that crazy waiting room where all the benches are.” Page 80, “ It was too depressing. And I wasn’t tired or anything.” Page 154, “ It wasn’t far over to the park, and I didn’t have anyplace else special to go to—I didn’t even know where I was going to sleep yet—so I went. I wasn’t tired or anything.”

Topic sentence of second paragraph

Secondly, Holden’s lack of interest is another symptom of depression.

Examples and supporting details

According to Canadian Mental Health Association (2012), “ loss of interest in taking part in activities” is a sign of depressive illness. Page 4, “ They kicked me out. I wasn’t supposed to come back after Christmas vacation on account of I was flunking four subjects and not applying myself and all.” On page 12 there is an insert of a note that Holden wrote to Mr. Spencer at the bottom of his exam paper, “ It is all right with me if you flunk me though as I am flunking everything else except English anyway.” Page 68, “ but I was too afraid my parents would answer, and then they’d find out I was in New York and kicked out of Pencey and all.” While visiting his history teacher before he left Pencey, page 14. Throughout the novel, Holden mentions that everyone was a phony. Holden didn’t care how he looked, “ But it was freezing cold, and I took my red hunting hat out of my pocket and put it on—I didn’t give a damn how I looked. I even put the earlaps down.” (p. 88)

Topic Sentence of third paragraph

Thirdly, Holden’s feeling of guilt is yet another symptom of depression.

Examples and supporting details

According to Canadian Mental Health Association (2012), “ feeling unreasonably guilty” is another sign of depression. Holden feels guilty on page 155 when he was describing when his family visits Allie’s grave and how he was at the cemetery but everyone else could do what they wish to. “ All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner—everybody except Allie.” Page 98, “ What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get very depressed. I keep telling him to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon’s house.” Page 78 Jane- When Jane’s step father asks Jane if she knew if there were any cigarettes in the house and she ignored him.

Topic sentence of fourth paragraph

Also, thoughts of suicide and obsession of death is another symptom of depression.

Examples and supporting details
According to Health Canada (2009), “ thoughts of suicide” is a symptom of depression. Holden demonstrates this on page 90 when he says, “ Depressed and all. I almost wished I was dead.” Holden demonstrates this on page 104 when he says, “ What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would’ve done it, too, if I’d been sure somebody’d cover me up as soon as I landed.” James Castle from Elkton Hills suicide by jumping out the window of his dorm. (Page 170) “ And I think I was more depressed than I ever was in my whole life.” (Page 194) “ And the more I thought about it, the more depressed I got.” (page 195) “ Depression can lead to suicide”

“ Almost all people who commit suicide suffer from depression or a related mental disorder, including eating disorders. Most suicide attempts happen within one year of the start of depression and suicidal thoughts.”

CONCLUSION
Restate directional statement and thesis

In conclusion lack of sleep, lack of interest, lack of concentration and thoughts of suicide and obsession with death are some shows signs of depression shown by Holden Caulfield throughout the novel. They are just some of the symptoms but not all of them.

General statement and significance

Therefore Holden Caulfield has shown signs of depression throughout the book in The Catcher in the Rye.