Holden's Maturity In Catcher In The Rye

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There is one experience in life that everyone can relate to. Whether it was pleasurable or not, no one can deny the fact that they have not been through it. This experience is that of growing up and change, a time in all of our lives where it is such a complicated yet natural process that kids just ‘go with it’. In the novel, Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield suffers from the same complexity in his life. Holden is struck with events throughout the book questioning his maturity and emotions. He is unable to analyze what maturity really is because he does not want to grow up. The first stage of the motif Growing Up/Change is seen when Holden constantly thinks about his peers and siblings and how he would like to protect them. The final stage of this motif shows Holden wanting to protect kids from the vulgar world. However, he is struggling because he would prefer to stay innocent,…show more content…
Holden is able to see the innocence in her as “she was very nervous for a prostitute”. Holden identifies innocence through youth as he states “she was young as hell. She was around my age”. Throughout the book Holden sees adults as phonies and children being pure. Sunny then goes on to say "Like fun you are" and Holden reacts to this because he sees childish traits in her. Holden identifies innocence in this instance and through it shows maturity by not sleeping with her. Growing up/change is also shown when Holden visits the museum to kill time before his date with Sally. He says “The best thing...in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move” The museum presents him with a vision of life he can understand: it is frozen, silent, and always the same. He then goes on to state “‘Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.” This portrays how Holden would like to stay in a world where no one judges
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