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Catcher In The Rye Adolescence Analysis

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Adolescence is the transitional period of psychological changes that generally occurs during puberty. Although the Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, when the characteristics of adolescents were not fully acknowledged, Salinger portrays adolescents’ struggle comprehensively. He depicts teenagers’ unstable mindsets through the Catcher in the Rye, especially through his teenaged protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, he uses Holden to convey the immature curiosity, painfulness of the process of growing up for a typical teenagers and adolescents’ view on the adult world.
In the Catcher in the Rye, Salinger depicts the immature mentality of typical teenagers through Holden’s childish curiosity. Teens experience
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Salinger hints the contrasting view of an adult and an adolescent when old Spencer talks to Holden. Spencer connects life with a “game” (Salinger 8). He makes this comparison to stress the fact that life is amusing and systematic. However, Holden describes life as a “crazy cliff” (Salinger 173). Although Holden tries not to express his emotions throughout the book, fear still seeps through his emotional shield when he discusses about his adulthood with Phoebe. Unlike Spencer, he demonstrates teenagers’ cynical perspective on the society, where being an adult will lead to their downfalls or, possibly, to their deaths. Throughout the Catcher in the Rye, Salinger suggests that the cynical perspectives of teenagers may originate from the academic pressure enforced upon them. Spencer unveils his concern on Holden’s future due, to Holden’s academic failure; Holden secretly expresses his discomfort by interrupting Spencer and leaving his house (Salinger 8). In fact, Clinical Psychological Science warned that the stress level increases during the school year. It also alleged the fact that rates of suicide attempts of adolescents were slightly higher than adults (Jayson). By illustrating the fact that the adolescents’ perspective and adults’ perspective on the society are contrasting, Salinger establishes a sense that adolescents’ perspectives has changed negatively because they suffer from extreme stress levels as they set themselves up for their
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