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From Innocence to Adulthood in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

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From Innocence to Adulthood in The Catcher in the Rye

 

   Adolescence is a time of existence in two worlds. One world having

the desire to be in the adult world, which is filled with all the unknown

wonders of the world. The other world is the world of childhood which is

comfortable and protected from all the impurities in the world.  This sort

of tug of war between the two worlds is not only mentally imposed on a

being, but physically, socially, and morally as well.  With all the

mentioned above, often times an adult will discourage an action of an

adolescent by saying they are too old to a act a certain way, and then will

turn around and say they are too young to do something, like go out late or

go on dates.  These contradictions can lead an adolescent to complete

uncertainty of their actions.  J.B. Salingers book, The Catcher in the Rye,

aptly describes the immense confusion of the in between stages of being a

boy and a man.

 

      Throughout the whole story, the narrator, Holden tries to act both

the boy and thw man but cannot.  He tries in vain to get a grip on the

adult world, but never is quite successful.  Holden's first attempt at

adulthood is exemplified when he leaves his school without permission from

his parents or the school.  This act in itself sets the stage for his trial

and error attitude about adulthood in the sense he failed out of school,

which was a childish act.  He tries to rectify his failing out of school by

leaving, which he views as an adult act. Holden's leaving school

represents his need for independence and he achieves this by leaving.

 

      Another of Holden's failed attempts at ...


... middle of paper ...


... In The Rye". English Journal. 77.7 (1988): 72-75.

Kaplan, Robert B. Cliff's Notes: Catcher In The Rye. Lincoln: Cliff's Notes, Inc., 1999.

Marsden, Malcolm M. If You Really Want To Know: A Catcher Casebook. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1963.

Miller Jr., James E. "American Literature". World Book Encyclopedia. Volume 1. Chicago: World Book Inc., 1983.

Pinsker, Sanford. The Catcher In The Rye: Innocence Under Pressure. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993.

Roemer, Danielle M. "The Personal Narrative and Salinger's Catcher in the Rye". Western Folklore 51 (1992): 5-10.

Salinger, J.D. The Catcher In The Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951.

Wildermuth, April. "Nonconformism in the Works of J.D. Salinger." 1997 Brighton High School. 24 November 1999.

 


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