Catcher In The Rye Analysis

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“Welcome to the Machine”*

What is so appealing about being an adult as a person is a child and unappealing once the person becomes an adult? Probably, it is because that adulthood is not actually appealing at all, yet alluring. The process of growing up is painful and cruel which deludes one to think that the adulthood as a reward for surviving the process. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye and the poem “Prayer Before Birth”, J.D. Salinger and Louis MacNeice both show that growing up is an agonizing process which involves the allurement of the adult world, the abnegation of control and the corruption of identity. In the process of growing up, adulthood can be seen as an appealing and attractive term of life; however, actually it is a beguiling fiction set by the societies of the human race to console themselves. Societies draw a line of trumped-up inequality between a child and an adult which makes adults superior to children. This line makes the adulthood look much more attractive from the perspective of a child and gives some advantages to adults to comfort themselves for losing their childhood. In The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger shows these advantages by Holden’s obsession about his age. Even though Holden hates growing up, he is still not content with his age, especially when he wants to flirt with ‘women’ and use alcohol. When a woman he tries to flirt with asks his age, Holden says “That annoyed me, for some reason.” (Salinger, 81) which demonstrates that he is
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