Adolescence In Catcher In The Rye

Good Essays
The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger represents childhood and adolescence by displaying characteristics of both on the one and only Holden Caulfield. This is achieved through showing how the behaviour of Holden crashes against the way other interacts with him, by showing his relationship with little children and their interactions and finally by giving him a happy ending with his little sister: the person he can relate to the most.

Holden loves calling people ‘phony’. If it was a sport, he would get gold medals. The word itself is not repeated many times throughout the novel, just around forty-five times, but Holden is so passionate in his speech when uses that word that missing it is like when there is a thunderstorm
…show more content…
There have been several situations where Holden has encountered children. When he is around them Holden is more laid back, as if he just got out a mine field and finally reached safe ground. What stands out the most about his interaction with children is the way his speech changes. It has been mentioned before how Holden was good writing; in fact, English is the only class that he was not failing. When he is around children though, his speech becomes more simplified. When Holden was looking for Phoebe and he asks this random little girl about where to find her she replied the museum, Holden clarified which one by asking “the one where the pictures are, or the one where the Indians are?” (119). This is particularly childish because adults usually try to be more specific in their speech and in the way they view the world, therefore it would be more likely for a child to use this kind of vocabulary to describe a place, which is proven by the clear understanding of the girl when she replies “the one where the Indians” (119). Holden is torn with sharing his brain with childish mannerism and adult…show more content…
When he is with her, Holden is who he just wants to be feely. Phoebe is a child, with maturity enough for both of them at a certain extent. She understands the importance of education, something children never do, and even gets frantic and distraught about the situation, and will not stop repeating about how “Daddy’ll kill [him]” (166) for getting flunked again. But since Phoebe is still a 10-year-old, she still has this childhood innocence that enthralls Holden. This is shown when out of the blue Phoebe mentions that she is getting “belching lessons from this girl, Phyllis Margulies” (174), which is a pretty childish thing to do, because as I mentioned before, children do not care about societal norms, and would not care about what other people consider obnoxious or irksome. Phoebe is the innocent child with the slightly grown up mind that Holden not only needs, but also relates
Get Access