How Holden Deals With Alcohol, Sex, and Violence in Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger, depicts how a lonely teenager,
Holden Caulfield, deals with alcohol, sex, and violence. Teenagers must also
deal with these problems daily.
Alcohol is very predominate throughout the novel The Catcher in the Rye.
Alcoholic beverages are a readily available, and relatively inexpensive for
minors to get. Over the past couple of years, teenage consumption of alcohol
has risen dramatically. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
states that more than 1.3 million teenagers have a drinking problem. The
National Institute also reports that the reason for underage teenage drinking is
they believe in a mixture of rebellion towards their parents and a sign of
maturity. Another reason for teenage drinking is it represents a daring gesture.
According to Dr. Joseph Franklin, "The way drinking starts is, one kid dares
another kid to take a drink of alcohol, and the kid doesn't want his friends to
think he is a coward so he does. Then the rest of them follow."
In the book, Between Parent and Teenager, it states the substance abuse
is the number one cause of death amongst teenagers. Studies show that among
high school students age 14 - 17, 60% of the students use alcohol once a week,
75% use it at least once a month, and 85% have used it once in the year.
In the novel, Holden Caulfield has very easy access to alcoholic
beverages. Throughout the novel, it seems that every time Holden gets depressed,
he turns towards alcohol. in Chapter 12, Holden is at Ernie's night club and he
got served even though he was only a minor. In Chapter 20, Holden gets drunk.
The way he acted when he was drunk shows how pathetic you are when you can not
The next topic, sex, is a very common word nowadays. Sex is so common
it is on television screens, blown up on billboards, and used for commercial
enticement. It also seems that teenage men are purchasing cars and teenage girls
are receiving more freedom from their parental figures. A couple years back,