Catcher in the Rye Depression Quotes (20+ quotes)

In this article, we will list Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger’s quotes on depression.

Depression refers to persistent feelings of sadness accompanied by feelings of worthlessness, a pessimistic view of one’s future, loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. There is also a lack of clarity in the mind, with one’s negative thoughts being more predominant, the person becomes socially withdrawn and feels low on energy. 

Catcher in the Rye Depression Quotes

Following are some of the depression quotes in Catcher in the Rye:

“It was against my principles and all, but I was feeling so depressed I didn’t even think. That’s the whole trouble. When you’re feeling very depressed, you can’t even think.”

“Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”

“Anyway, I’m sort of glad they’ve got the atomic incendiary device invented. If there’s ever another war, I’m going to sit right the hell on top of it. I’ll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will.”

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

“I’m just going through a phase right now. Everybody goes through phases and all, don’t they?”

“What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of good-by. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.”

“One thing about packing depressed me a little. I had to pack these brand-new ice skates my mother had practically just sent me a couple of days before. That depressed me. I could see my mother going in Spaulding’s and asking the salesman a million dopy [sic] questions—and here I was getting the ax again. It made me feel pretty sad. She bought me the wrong kind of skates—I wanted racing skates and she bought hockey—but it made me sad anyway. Almost every time somebody gives me a present, it ends up making me sad.” 

“Then I went over and laid down on Ely’s bed. Boy, did I feel rotten. I felt so damn lonesome.”

“They were so ignorant, and they had those sad, fancy hats on and all. And that business about getting up early to see the first show at Radio City Music Hall depressed me. If somebody, some girl in an awful-looking hat, for instance, comes all the way to New York – from Seattle, Washington, for God’s sake – and ends up getting up early in the morning to see the first show at Radio City Music Hall, it makes me so depressed I can’t stand it. I’d’ve bought the whole three of them a hundred drinks if only they hadn’t told me that.” 

“New York’s terrible when somebody laughs on the street very late at night. You can hear it for miles. It makes you feel so lonesome and depressed. I kept wishing I could go home and shoot the bull for a while with old Phoebe.”

“I took her dress over to the closet and hung it up for her. It was funny. It made me feel sort of sad when I hung it up. I thought of her going in a store and buying it, and nobody in the store knowing she was a street worker and all. The salesman probably just thought she was a regular girl when she bought it. It made me feel sad as hell—I don’t know why, exactly.”

“But there was one nice thing. This family that you could tell just came out of some church were walking right in front of me – a father, a mother, and a little kid about six years old. They looked sort of poor. […] The kid was swell. […] He was making out like he was walking a very straight line, the way kids do, and the whole time he kept singing and humming. […] It made me feel better. It made me feel not so depressed anymore.”

“After old Sunny was gone, I sat in the chair for a while and smoked a couple of cigarettes. It was getting daylight outside. 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. I keep telling him to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon’s house. Bobby Fallon used to live quite near us in Maine. […] We thought we could shoot something without BB guns. Anyway, Allie heard us talking about it, and he wanted to go, and I wouldn’t let him. I told him he was a child. So once in a while now, when I get very depressed, I keep saying to him, “Okay. Go home and get your bike and meet me in front of Bobby’s house. Hurry up.” […] I keep thinking about it, anyway, when I get very depressed.” 

“All the two of them were eating for breakfast was toast and coffee. That depressed me. I hate it if I’m eating bacon and eggs or something and somebody else is only eating toast and coffee.”

“I was way early when I got there, so I just sat down on one of those leather couches right near the clock in the lobby and watched the girls. […] It was really nice sightseeing, if you know what I mean. In a way, it was sort of depressing, too, because you kept wondering what the hell would happen to all of them. When they got out of school and college, I mean. You figured most of them would probably marry dopey guys. Guys that always talk about how many miles they get to the gallon in their cars.”

“You don’t like anything that’s happening.”

It made me even more depressed when she said that.

“Yes I do. Yes I do. Sure I do. Don’t say that. Why the hell do you say that?”

“Because you don’t. You don’t like any schools. You don’t like a million things. You don’t.”

“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, she was depressing me.

“Wait a second—take the rest of your dough, too.” I started giving her the rest of the dough she’d lent me.”

“You keep it. Keep it for me,” she said. Then she said right afterward—”Please.”

That’s depressing, when somebody says “please” to you. I mean if it’s Phoebe or somebody. That depressed the hell out of me. But I put the dough back in my pocket.

“So I went in this very cheap-looking restaurant and had doughnuts and coffee. Only, I didn’t eat the doughnuts. I couldn’t swallow them too well. The thing is, if you get very depressed about something, it’s hard as hell to swallow.”

“I wasn’t sleepy or anything, but I was feeling sort of lousy. Depressed and all. I almost wished I was dead.”

“Girls with their legs crossed, girls with their legs not crossed, girls with terrific legs, girls with lousy legs, girls that looked like swell girls, girls that looked like they’d be bad people if you knew them. It was really nice sightseeing, if you know what I mean. In a way, it was sort of depressing, too, because you kept wondering what the hell would happen to all of them. When they got out of school and college, I mean. You figured most of them would probably marry dopey guys.”

“The cars zoomed by, brakes screeched all over the place, his parents paid no attention to him, and he kept on walking next to the curb and singing ‘If a body catch a body coming through the rye.’ It made me feel better. It made me feel not so depressed any more”

“When I finally got down off the radiator and went out to the hat-check room, I was crying and all. I don’t know why, but I was. I guess it was because I was feeling so damn depressed and lonesome. Then, when I went out to the checkroom […] the hat-check girl was very nice. […] I sort of tried to make a date with her. […] She said she was old enough to be my mother and all.” 

In this article, we listed Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger’s quotes on depression.

FAQs: Catcher in the Rye Depression Quotes

How is Holden depressed in The Catcher in the Rye?

Holden can be seen to be depressed in The Catcher in the Rye as a result of his past trauma and the current issues he faces. Holden at the beginning of the book talks about the two deaths he had experienced. One of his brother Allie, who had died of leukemia and of a classmate of his who had committed suicide. Both these instances had made a huge impact on him.

What mental disorder does Holden Caulfield have?

Though the author never openly stated that Holden had any mental disorder, but throughout the book, it is clearly seen that Holden suffers from depression, anxiety, and most probably post-traumatic stress disorder.

How many times does Holden say he’s depressed?

In the book, Holden uses the word depressed or depressing a total of 41 times.

What does Holden blame his depression on?

Holden’s depression can be seen as a result of his lack of motivation to do anything in life, his inability to self-reflect and assess his own actions. His stubbornness also makes him give up on life before he gives himself a chance to start it.

Is Holden Caulfield in a mental hospital?

Holden is not in a mental hospital but the writer Salinger had admitted himself into a mental hospital, shortly after the Germans had surrendered. 


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