In The Catcher in the Rye, the author J.D. Salinger, introduces the protagonist; Holden Caulfield. Holden feels the sense that he cannot choose between the two worlds. For example, he makes it seem as both of them are complete opposites from each other. In the book, Holden wants to keep his innocence, but he also wants to grow up and toss that innocence away. He still keeps his childhood personality by constantly obsessing over things that shouldn’t matter. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden demonstrates the struggle of transitioning between childhood and adulthood by revealing his hassle to grow up.
Adulthood is when we mature into a person that continues to live life in reality as we let our childhood and adolescence become a faint memory. The memories, however, taught us lessons of acceptance as we cannot always shape the future. Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye takes a journey through the rite of passage by experiencing the innocence of youth and the phoniness of adulthood.
To start, the death of Holden’s younger brother, Allie, has impacted Holden’s life to a certain extent. He passed away when he was eleven years old and when Holden was thirteen years old from Leukemia. Holden has not been the same ever since the death and can be shown by, “I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don’t blame them. I really don’t.
We realize that throughout the novel he is obsessed with the past and finds comfort in certain things. From the past, he finds comfort in Allie’s baseball glove, and a red hunting hat. To add onto these, as he gets older, he starts to smoke, drink, and go to his sister Phoebe to find comfort. Holden is only sixteen years of age, but he looks much older than that which is why he can slip through bars and drink, faking
Furthermore, Holden starts to hate all the adults or loses faith in them, calls them phony. Holden has a second thought of becoming an adult he loses hope in his future and it seems to him nothing in the world matters to him anymore. We can see that throughout the book. He smokes, gets drunk, and does daring acts like getting a prostitute in his room. He also tries to escape all this guilt and grief by wasting time with unnecessary people he calls phony.
The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’.
Throughout the book, Holden is struggling to get by. The death of his brother Allie has left him in a tough spot. Holden doesn’t exactly know how to deal with this. The different stages of grief are represented through Holden. Holden shows denial and anger when he flashbacks to one of his memories after his brother’s death.
How Holden matured People go through rough stuff in their lives, such as losing a close sibling. It seems impossible to pull yourself out of the pain and guilt of your loss. It appeared Holden was in the same predicament, but through his experiences in the novel The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger he learns to grow up. Aside from being very immature, holden refuses to grow up and dislikes people who have grown up.
Part of the reason Holden does not call his sister, Phoebe, is due to his “parents being the ones that answered the phone” (77). Holden finds protection in avoiding talking to anybody, which results in isolation. This event contributes to plot development as after refusing to call anybody, Holden continues to make excuses for things he should be doing, but does not. With each of Holden’s excuses, new adventures arrive, thus thickening and developing the
‘But not too much, I guess’ (14). Holden didn’t want to grow up from his childhood years or even think of the future. He wants to remain in his childhood years, when everything was full of life and vivid happiness. Holden’s actions are also childlike, which makes his character unreliable at times, but it irritates Holden when people don’t take him seriously or simply notice that when he tries to change his behavior. For instance, Salinger mentions, “I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age.
Holden Caulfield, the main protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, embodies the classic teenager in the process of discovering himself, and how the world works. But, regardless of Holden 's rich, prep school lifestyle, the series of events that have mapped out his life up to this point have utterly affected his emotional well being and perception of the world. Many traumatic events such as the death of holds brother Allie, the death of a class mate, and countless numbers of awkward incidents with adults have all added up to affects Holden 's well-being and detach him from reality.
There is one experience in life that everyone can relate to. Whether it was pleasurable or not, no one can deny the fact that they have not been through it. This experience is that of growing up and change, a time in all of our lives where it is such a complicated yet natural process that kids just ‘go with it’. In the novel, Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield suffers from the same complexity in his life. Holden is struck with events throughout the book questioning his maturity and emotions.
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.
Holden’s Struggle To Find Himself: Throughout the novel, The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, Holden struggles to find himself and who he truly is in order to be happy. His struggles relate to many things that he does or say in particular. Holden lacks with a social status with women and his family, whether it’s a relationship or being antisocial. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield experiences the complexities and struggles involved with both physical and emotional relationships.
From the outset, I have to say that “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger has been one of the most important and influential pieces of literature I have ever read. At its core, the book is a superb coming of age novel which discusses several extremely powerful themes such as the difficulties of growing up, teenage angst and alienation and the superficiality, hypocrisy and pretension of the adult world. These themes resonated deeply with me and were portrayed excellently through the use of powerful symbolism and the creation of highly relatable and likable characters. One such character is Holden Caulfield whom the story both revolves around and is narrated by.