Catcher In The Rye Childhood Vs Adulthood Analysis

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In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye a teenager, Holden Caulfield, faced many problems at a young age, such as his brother’s, Allie’s, death and being kicked out of schools. As these events occur, Holden is conflicted between choosing childhood and adulthood. However, no one can choose between childhood or adulthood, but Holden feels like he must. The death of his brother leads Holden to believe he should be strong and mature. When, in all honesty, he is too young to fully comprehend these emotions. This occurs in a number of ways like when he tries to order alcohol at age sixteen, his thoughts that he needs to be ready for sexual relationships (when he is not), and his idea that he knows more than most adults. As the novel continues,…show more content…
When Holden crosses streets it is always involved with danger or hectic scenes proving that he is not ready to choose and, in his mind, creates a hectic scene. This can be seen after Holden visited his sister, Phoebe. Before he crosses the street he is reminded of cheerful and happy memories of him and his sister, like when they visited Bloomingdale 's together. “The Christmas before last I took her downtown shopping with me. We had a helluva time…….We went in the shoe department and we pretended she--old Phoebe-- wanted to get a pair of those very high storm shoes, the kind that have a million holes to lace up…...It was a dirty trick, but it killed old Phoebe….old Phoebe always starts giggling”(197). This memory of him and Phoebe reminded Holden of a happier time in his childhood. Holden recalled other happy memories from his childhood such as Allie baseball mitt and going to the movies with all his siblings. Having all happy memories of his childhood, Holden wants to stay in the past with the happier moments and memories. Thus, explaining, he is not fully ready to be an adult and that he is not fully ready to leave his childhood either. Putting this memory before Holden crosses the street is very important as he is constantly reminded of his childhood while crossing. This shows up twice as he calls out to his deceased brother, a big part of his childhood, and experiences fear
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