Examples Of Childhood In Catcher In The Rye

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The unavoidable transition from childhood to adulthood is often a lonely and difficult time for adolescents. Many teenagers struggle with the balance between being a child, and becoming an adult. In J.D. Salinger 's The Catcher in the Rye, the use of setting reflects Holden’s feelings about the transition from childhood to adulthood. This transition is necessary to becoming a functioning member in society. Throughout the book, Holden explores the realities of adulthood and deals with the challenges that come along with the transition from childhood. Through the different childhood settings, we see Holden regress to states of innocence that he desires most, despite the world forcing Holden to grow up quickly.
Holden stops in at the Museum of
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Holden stops at his old school that Phoebe attends. The school is place of living. Holden sees the challenges of adulthood in a static building where innocent children go through life. There he sees the challenges of adulthood. When Holden is looking around the school he sees “F*** you” written on the wall and, “Thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they 'd wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them” (201). The profanity represents Holden’s inability to prevent the loss of innocence in others. The provoking nature of the phrase represents his own inability to protect himself from the daunting aspects of adulthood. Through using a school as the setting, Salinger uses the understood symbol of children as innocence to make Holden’s return to school a return to his own innocence. In Holden’s constant battle to protect the innocence in the world, his return to the most nostalgic and innocence filled setting forces him to face the realization that everywhere he goes, he will have to struggle to preserve the purity. In this setting, Holden is faced with the real life struggles of growing up, and is confronted with the idea of Phoebe going through the transition, and growing out of his perfect museum like
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