Maturity In JD Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye

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In JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, a teenage boy, struggles with the idea of maturity and growing up. The novel chronicles Holden’s journey to find what he should do with his life after being kicked out of school. Being both confused and lost, Holden encounters many moments where he doesn’t know where to go or what to do next. To help him make the right decision, Holden considers the ducks he sees in Central Park. These ducks are an important symbol used throughout the book to describe Holden’s journey toward maturity. Throughout the novel, Holden ponders whether the ducks are taken away to a zoo to be cared for when the pond in Central Park freezes over or if they are left to fly away and fend for themselves. Holden…show more content…
He is extremely ambitious and has a desire to improve his life. Holden is a confused young man because he is stuck between childhood and adulthood, and he struggles with isolation and loneliness throughout the whole story, contributing to his continuous depression. One instance in which Holden tries to fill his lonely life is when he makes conversation with Ernest Morrow’s mother. Ernest is a schoolmate of Holden’s in which he considers him “the biggest bastard that ever went to Pencey…” (54). To avoid being lonely for the rest of the trip, Holden makes conversation with Ernest’s mother and gives generous compliments about her son. Then he starts “chucking the old crap around,” and he keeps Mrs. Morrow entertained with the intriguing facts about her son (56). However, Holden also has a sexual attraction to Mrs. Morrow which made the conversation a lot easier to bear. Holden feels the effects of isolation another time when he takes a cab and converses with the driver. Holden talks about how quiet and lonely the cab and New York is late in the night. Then he begins talking to the driver about the Central Park ducks to break the looming silence. Before Holden reaches his destination he asks his driver, Horwitz, if wants to get a drink at the bar. This moment really stood out to me that Holden was on the verge of childhood and adulthood, but it also served as a basis that Holden wants to drown his loneliness in
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