How Does Holden Change Throughout The Catcher In The Rye

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Sometimes growing up can hurt. Sometimes it is a scrape on your knee. Sometimes it’s a heartbreak. Sometimes it’s how life goes. In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the main character Holden, is growing up and misses those times when he was still innocent. He is mentally ill and does not want to talk to either of his parents or anyone his age. He only wants to talk to his little sister who is 11 years old. This is because she is still young yet she is mature for her age. The Catcher in the Rye can be read as a ‘coming of age’ story. Holden’s character changes or matures during the course of the novel by seeing who he likes to be around, how he handles his mental health and how he looks at family and how he treats them. Phoebe brings …show more content…

Holden likes the maturity of others that he is around, but he likes talking to someone who can remind him of his childhood. This is why he does not talk to kids his age. He admires people who are young and you can see what Holden likes in a person. An example of someone he admires is his sister, “You should see her. You never saw a little kid so pretty and smart in your whole life. She’s really smart. I mean she’s had all A’s ever since she started school. As a matter of fact, I’m the only dumb one in the family” (Salinger 10). Holden loves to complement Phoebe and he says how much he thinks she is perfect. He never says that about anyone else and has never thought anything good about people his age. Phoebe really brought sense to Holden and showed him what he really liked in a person. What he liked was someone younger than him yet was as mature as him. “She killed Allie, too. I mean he liked her, too. She’s ten now, and not such a tiny little kid any more, but she still kills everybody--everybody with any sense, anyway” (Salinger 10). Holden admired Phoebe who is someone not his age. He never admired anyone else that is anywhere near his age. Holden is growing up and wants to go back to his younger days. Talking to Phoebe brings back those times. Talking to people that are older than him, does the …show more content…

Anyone older than him, like his parents, he does not want to talk to and his mental illness is one of the reasons he does not talk to nearly anyone. He does not talk to other people outside Phoebe normally at all. Holden used to have friends when he was little that were his age. Now he realizes why he should not have talked to them. “...I gave old Sally Hayes a buzz…” “I wasn’t too crazy about her, but I'd known her for years. I used to think she was quite intelligent, in my stupidity” (Salinger 15). Holden likes to talk to people who are smart and reasonable. He does not normally talk to people anymore outside of Phoebe because of their intelligence. Holden wanted to move away and talk to no one and he was alone. He wanted to go into a cabin in the woods and act like he could not hear and that way he did not have to talk to anyone. He enjoyed the company of Phoebe but he also wanted to just have to talk to no one. “I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn’t have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody” (Salinger 25).Holden did not want to talk to his parents or anyone from the beginning of the story and towards the end he did not change. He continued to not talk to people who were not smart in his eyes and people who were not

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