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Essay On Growing Up In Catcher In The Rye

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Growing up is hard. How about trying to fit in Holden’s shoes? The Catcher in the Rye chronicles the events, retold by the anti-hero Holden Caulfield. After Holden flunked out of school, he decides to explore New York for a while until Christmas as he encounters people in hopes of finding his purpose in life. In the novel, Holden’s sporadic tendencies can be linked to his fleeting childhood as the call for maturation gets louder; his contrasting reality and blissful ignorance weighs down Holden physically and psychologically in three ways: Allie’s death, encounter with Sunny, and Phoebe’s carousel ride. Salinger tries explaining the woes of growing up in Holden’s shoes as the poignant message of turbulence that comes with growing up still resonates…show more content…
Upon hearing Allie's death, who battled with leukemia at a young age, Holden is unable to cope with the reality and decides to take out his frustrations through destructive tendencies. J.D. Salinger writes, “I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don’t blame them. I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the godam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it (Salinger 44).” He was inexperienced with handling grief and death at a young age; rather than rationalizing the situation, he decides to take out his grief and frustrations though destroying property and hurting himself in the process. Coincidentally, this marks Holden’s physical deterioration and his self-destructive tendencies used as a coping mechanism; his damaged hand shows readers he is weak not only physically but also psychologically, a repeating imagery throughout the novel. His inability to handle reality and relinquish the concept of innocence is also a recurring pattern in the novel. Throughout the novel, readers get to know Holden through apathy and grief, especially through
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