From the book’s introduction, it is made clear that Holden has emotional struggles, as he is retelling “this madman stuff that happened to [him] around last Christmas” in what seems to be a resting home (Salinger 1). He also details that the events occurring last winter were what inspired him to reach out for help and going to a rest home. By doing this, Holden is contrasting the vast majority of the actions he makes throughout his madman experience. One of Holden’s main grievances with the people around him is that they are, as he frequently claims, phony. To Holden, just about everybody can be called a phony, particularly those his age and above. Of the many people he has opportunities to form relationships with, Holden only appears to care about two people: his deceased brother Allie and his younger sister Phoebe, both of whom are prepubescent children. These...
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... adolescence and how essential it is that Holden begins to realize how important what he does in his youth will be for his future.
The Catcher in the Rye serves as a reminder of the importance of adolescence by typifying its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, as a dysfunctional teenager who has trouble developing due to his immaturity, depression, and lack of motivation. It also illustrates the benefits of a social lifestyle via Holden 's negative interactions with many other characters in the book, including Mr. Spencer and Mr. Antolini, who act as voices of reason for him yet are almost entirely ignored. Salinger also conveys a message of the dangers and consequences that come with poor decision making through Holden’s desire to act both older and younger than his age. By combining these three elements of the novel, Salinger helps to create its aforementioned meaning.
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