Catcher In The Rye Loss Analysis

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Coping with loss is a difficult situation, especially for a teenager in the midst of transitioning between adolescence and adulthood. A person’s teen years are strenuous enough under normal circumstances, but the death of a family member greatly increases their strife. In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield struggles with growing up and yearns for freedom from his painful past, since he never receives closure from an event that shakes his childhood- the death of his younger brother. Holden does not have anyone that helps him through this trauma, and he forces himself to deal with death, while growing up. Therefore, in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, symbols and details are used to show the harsh realities of growing up while dealing with loss. Salinger uses details about Holden’s life to display the difficulties of growing up, while dealing with the death of his brother. It is difficult to read a chapter in the middle of a book, and understand it, without having read the previous chapters. Adolescence is similar. Teenagers have to deal with the struggle of transitioning from the childish world that they have known their entire lives, to a…show more content…
Salinger is able to illustrate the difficulties of maturation amidst loss. Holden never understands what it means to die, as he sees Allie one day, and does not the next. This lack of closure prevents him from growing up, and comprehending what it means to be an adult. Instead of going to school, he indulges himself in what he thinks are adult activities: drinking, hiring prostitutes and smoking. This skewed misconception is just the result of him never understanding the meaning of Allie’s death, and the emotional trauma that the tragedy caused him, kept carrying over. Dealing with loss is painful for anyone, but for a teenager who must also grow up to society’s standards at the same time, this transition is truly
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