Catcher In The Rye Role Confusion Essay

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German psychologist Erik Erikson developed the eight psychosocial stages to explain the maturation of humanbeings. In this theory, stage five spans from twelve to eighteen years old- or the period commonly known as adolescence. This stage is defined by a recurring sense of role confusion and changing identities. After this period ends, a definite identity is solidified and adulthood sets in. This is a period of high uncertainty and is common in many individuals. This topic has even been demonstrated often throughout the history of literature. Commonly, a protagonist will demonstrate the transition from role confusion to self-assurance. An example of a novel that accomplishes this feat is Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. In this novel, the main character, Holden, …show more content…

In the end Holden discovers the most important and truest self in his arsenal through rekindling his compassion for his younger sister, Phoebe. Holden moves on from his wavering of adolescent identity when he realizes that the truest version of himself is the man that loves his sister patently. The first version of Holden Salinger depicts is parallel to the mold that society presses upon the youth of the United States. As Holden’s roommate, Stradlater, takes Jane Gallagher out on a date, he asks Holden for a favor. He asks Holden to write a descriptive composition for him. Holden begrudgingly agrees but then seizes the opportunity to create a strong piece of work. He works tirelessly on his depiction of his younger brother’s baseball glove. Upon Stradlater’s return Holden presents the composition. Stradlater gives it a quick read and remarks that the composition is trash and hits a soft spot in telling Holden that he is not surprised that he is being expelled. Holden replies “ Alright, give it back to me then”(40). Then Holden proceeds to rip up the composition. Stradlater’s reaction is the exact opposite of what Holden wanted. Holden wanted

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