Maslow also explains in the article how the needs will not necessarily appear in the same order depending on the type of person. In the book “Catcher in the Rye” by J. D Salinger, the main character Holden is working up the pyramid of needs. He gets to a point where the needs take over him and to reach the needs that his behavior is impacted by them. Holden has achieved part of the needs but not fully, the need of love, esteem and self actualize have not t only certain parts of it have. this has led to the behavior of change throughout the story and for him to try everything he can to accomplish the needs.
One of the needs that holden wants to achieve in the book is social. According to Maslow the social need is “[The] needs for belonging, love and affection”(1). Holden tries many ways to satisfy the need. He starts talking to strangers on the street and he even invites the taxicab men for a drink(60-61). Holden does not have the social need because he doesn’t have many friends and his parents do not pay much attention to him. Holden wants to have friends and feel the need to be loved. The only person that shows love for him is his sister Phoebe.
Holden really cares about her and feels that she is the only one that loves him. Also, Holden wants to satisfy the social need because when he goes on a date with Sally he starts to tell her that they should get married and go live together. He also says that he will work to get a lot of money and support sally and him(132). Holden’s behavior is affected by the need of love making him imagine the scenario where he will be happy, marry someone and love them forever fulfilling the need of love and making him move up the pyramid of needs.
With the love he gets from his sister and with him getting a girlfriend the need of love would be accomplished and he won’t have to behave in such a way that he imagines scenarios of being with someone. Another need that Holden does not have is esteem. According to Maslow the self esteem need is “….. the need for things that reflect on self esteem, personal worth, social recognition and accomplishment. ” (1) Holden does not have this need because he is always depressed, thinks of his life as low and is surrounded by phonies.
When holden was in the Wicker bar he got all drunk and started to cry and feel lonesome since he had nobody to talk to. He even started to call people he knew when it was very late (153). Holden is always feeling sad and lonely because he has no friends to talk to or interact with. He doesn’t think of himself as highly and instead looks highly on other people like stradlater, when he mentioned he was sexy and was going out with Jane and he didn’t do anything about it.
Holden does not want to succeed in life because he is always failing all of his classes and does not put effort into his work. He also says to Sally that he gets nothing out of school and just feels that he is surrounded by phonies all the time (131) The lack of effort on school has led him to be kicked out again and for him to be nobody and not have the need to be recognize the way he said in his imagination where he would be a deaf mute and be all alone and won’t have to talk to anybody for the rest of his life.
Finally, the need that has satisfied is self actualized. According to Maslow “self actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves including helping others…… ”(2). Holden has the need of self actualized person because he really cares about other people and tries to protect them. He tries to protect the children’s innocence because when he saw the “fuck you” on the wall he got really mad because Holden doesn’t want the children to see it since he feels that their innocence will go away too soon(204).
Holden feels that after a person loses their innocence, problems similar to his will start to appear. Holden doesn’t want the children to lose their innocence and become like him. He doesn’t want them to grow up and see life as something bad and realize how the world is, not happy and just surrounded by a bunch of phonies. Another time that Holden cares about other people is when Stradlater is on a date with Jane the girl that Holden feels lover for her.
Stradlater didn’t know how her name was pronounced and Holden said he was a moron(100) Holden wanted to protect Jane from getting hurt by Stradlater. Holden didn’t want to see her suffer since he really cares about her and he didn’t want just anyone to play around with her feelings. Holden wanted to keep her away from the bad and to not suffer the way she did when she was in her house and started crying because of her dad. Holden wants her happy and will do anything to make it happen.
Holden has achieved the need of self actualization and he demonstrates it through his actions throughout the book. In conclusion, Holden is the character that fits well with the article writing by Kendra Cherry. Where his behavior is impacted by the missing needs. This are the need of love and self esteem. The only needs that Holden has achieved are physiological,security and self actualization which is not common between people because it is the highest need and the last one to achieved but Holden has achieved it and he demonstrates it throughout the book.
His struggle and behavior change is seen as the books progresses and he tries everything to achieve the needs he is missing. Holden has shown that people will achieve different needs in different order and that they will try anything to get them. In the end of the book he realizes what he was doing and becomes more mature, knowing that it will help him in the long run with fulfilling the needs he needs.