Catcher In The Rye Rite Of Passage Analysis

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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. The beginning of Holden’s journey starts with the innocence and naivety of childhood. Childhood is the stage that ignorance is bliss with no care in the world. Holden goes to a prestigious boarding school for boys and he believes that everyone in that school is a phony in some way. Holden is an observant character as he stays in the background, but he can also cause the most trouble. Like a child, he asks many questions and he is very curious to the point that he can be annoying. Childhood is the stage of tantrums and Holden complains about a lot of people that he likes, but also hate. Ackley is an outcast that Holden describes as being ugly and a slob. Holden does not really like Ackley, however, he continues to talk to Ackley and be his friend. Holden’s actions are also hypocritical as he says he is annoyed with Ackley, but Holden is also lonely. …show more content…

He talks quite a bit about sex, but his virginity is the last existing innocence to him. Holden pays for a prostitute to have sex with, but he cannot go through with it. He is very hesitant about losing his innocence. Holden wants to be “the catcher in the rye” (191) and save all the innocence in the world. He believes that that is what he wants to do in the future as he tells his little sister, Phoebe. Phoebe is a child and she is innocent. Holden wants to keep Phoebe innocent because his older brother prostituted himself to Hollywood, the place full of phonies. Holden does not want children to lose their innocence so soon, but he realizes that he cannot save them

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