Catcher In The Rye Transition From Childhood To Adulthood

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Salinger communicates the message in The Catcher in the Rye that transition from childhood to adulthood is long and difficult. It is not a process that occurs overnight and many obstacles have to be overcome. The main character, Holden, refuses to grow up and does everything he can to remain in a world of innocence, away from the phony and cruel real world. Growing up means facing challenges and dealing with problems, not avoiding them, as Holden so often tries to do. He never wants anything around him to change and just wants his childhood to last forever, which is why he likes the Museum of Natural History. He enjoys the museum so much because it is a memorable part of his childhood and “everything always stayed right where it was” (Salinger 122). The exhibits are always the same every time he goes there, representative of how Holden wants to live his life. Unable to move on from the bliss of the idea of childhood, he attempts to stay in the past by thinking about events and people that are an…show more content…
There are still many hurdles that young adults have to make it over in order to fully transition to being an adult. Often, kids try and grow up too fast and end up missing the innocence and simplicity of their childhood, like Holden does throughout the novel. They wear makeup, go to parties, drink, and try and act older than they are. It is not until later on in life that they realize how good being a child was, and by then it is too late. Holden claims that he does not want to grow up, but at the same time always tries to appear older, especially when at a bar. When ordering drinks at a bar, he does everything he can to look like an adult: “ I stood up when I ordered [the drinks] so they could see how tall I was and all and not think I was a goddam minor” (Salinger 142). Actually growing up and not rushing childhood takes a long time and cannot be rushed like so many people try to
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