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It is a Sunday Afternoon in a Southern California Mental Institute Essay Sample

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It is a Sunday Afternoon in a Southern California Mental Institute Essay Sample

This has to be the most goddamn depressing place in the world. It’s full of phonies walking around talking about their girlfriends and how they’re going home practically next week, except they say that every week, it drives me crazy. I’m surrounded, can I ever escape them?

Even the Nurse is a phoney, he’s always going on about his wife and all that crap and he acts well tough but if you want to know the truth he’s a flit as well.

I couldn’t give a damn about anyone in here, apart from this one girl, she’s a nurse and all but she’s not like the others, she listens to you like old Phoebe, I think she’s called Anne, it’s quite a nice name don’t you think? Anyway she’s about the same age as my brother D.B., have I told you about him?

Well my brother D.B. he’s a writer, in fact he’s a pretty good writer, sometimes his writing is so good it knocks me out. Well, he’s in Hollywood now, I tried to persuade him not to go but he wouldn’t listen even though I was being as suave as hell. I hate all that phoney crap, it’s so dull.

You know Phoebe my sister, well she’s quite young and even she’s read all D.B.’s books, they’re that good. Most of my family are good at English, even me.

I miss old Phoebe, I’ve thought about seeing her several times now but I can’t let her see me in here, I can imagine her face as she walked in here, the smile disappearing, I think if I saw that face again I would be destroyed forever, it was bad enough last time it happened, outside the station.

Holden wipes a tear from his eyes with his sleeve.

I wonder what my parents are doing right now; I feel so damn guilty `bout Pencey and all, if you want to know the truth I think the reason I’ve ended up like a madman is because of all the phonies at Pencey prep school. Christ almighty! They’re enough to drive anyone crazy, they’re so dull and half of them are flits. If you find the one thing that caused all this crap it will be my parents; it’s not their fault, how were they to know that this would happen?


No kidding, I love my parents and all but sometimes they make me so mad I could….


Well do something terrible.

You know sometimes I talk like my parents. It’s funny that, you think you’re growing up. Then what happens is you order a scotch and soda in some goddamn bar and the snotty waiter says ‘How old are you?’ I’m not kidding, it happens every time, it drives me crazy.

There’s this one girl, Jane’s her name, she’s not like the other girls, she understands things most girls don’t, that’s what I like ’bout her. I mean most girls are nice to look at and all, but if you wanna know the truth, they’re morons, you try to strike up an intellectual conversation with them and they get all sore and treat you as if you’re an idiot, it kills me. You see I don’t like Jane in a sexy kind of way, I mean she’s pretty and all but I like her for what she is, not some crumby whore.


If you wanna know what made me really mad, it was that jerk Stradlater. Trying it on in the back of a car with Jane, Jesus, I could kill him.

The nurse walks in and tells Holden to keep his voice down.


That’s what makes me mad, there are too many hypocrites in the world, look at what started the war, hypocrites, it drives me crazy.

I hope to leave this place in September, but that sonuvabitch nurse keeps making lame excuses to keep me in here longer. If you wanna know the truth I think he fancies me, I’m not kidding but if he thinks I’m a flit, boy is he wrong.

Holden takes Allie’s Baseball mitt and sits in silence for a few minutes.

My parents visited me the other day; they gave me Allie’s baseball mitt. They were really nice and all, I think my dad must have realised that shouting at me wouldn’t have done any good. They gave me one of Allie’s old notebooks, which they had found earlier that week; this cheered me up no end. I must’ve spent several goddamn hours reading that notebook over and over again. Boy, do I miss Allie.

He was great, a real swell guy. The great thing about him was that if you played a game, take football for instance, he never got sore if he lost. He loved poetry, his poems were damn good, no crap, they were top-notch bourgeois. Everyone got on with Allie, you would’ve liked Allie, I’m not kidding Allie was one swell kind of guy. Allie’s gone now; he died of pneumonia a few years back. I always say my mum still hasn’t got over Allie, but if you wanna know the truth neither have I, It’s probably why I’ve been acting such a bastard lately.


Holden then begins to recite the words to the poem “If a Body Meet a Body Comin’ Through the Rye.”

“If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye….”


I want to be the “Catcher In The Rye.”

He begins to cry,


You wouldn’t think anyone could be happy in such a depressing place but to tell you the truth I have probably never been so happy, I have so many happy things to think about, forget the phonies, this is my life from now on, it’s me versus the world. I’m going to try for you Allie. No one else just you!

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