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Catcher In The Rye Adolescence

Decent Essays
Teenagers across time periods and across the world are presented with relatively the same obstacles. Author J.D. Salinger attempts to capture these obstacles in his novel The Catcher in the Rye. The narrator, Holden, retells the story of a few days from when he was sixteen years old. He faces virtually the same problems as any teenager does, the struggle to fit in, find friends, and family issues, but with a twist. J.D. Salinger's purpose for writing The Catcher in the Rye is to illustrate the difference between the adult and teenage brains as well as the importance of an extended adolescence.
One of Salinger’s purposes is to show the difference between the adult brain and the teenage brain in The Catcher in the Rye. In the beginning of
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Throughout the novel, Holden struggles to keep a grasp on his childhood. Having to grow up fast due to his brother’s death and witnessing the suicide of James Castle, Holden did not have a proper childhood. Although a special case, Holden is not the only young adult experiencing the same thing. “'Pre-Adulthood' Separates The Men From The Boys” investigates the fact that “many young men today are stuck in a stage of extended adolescence” (Unknown). Boys are staying boys instead of becoming men. They are living with their parents longer, going to school for more time, and not getting married as quickly. While many people may view this as a negative fact, Laurence Steinberg depicts the positive side in “The Case for Delayed Adulthood.” Steinberg believes that an extension of adolescence “fosters novelty-seeking and the acquisition of new skills.” The brain is hugely influenced by experience, and the more time that the brain is exposed to challenging encounters, the more it will “grow.” This fact “raises intriguing questions about whether the window of adolescent brain plasticity can be kept open a little longer by deliberate exposure to stimulating experiences that signal the brain that it isn’t quite ready for the fixity of adulthood” (Steinberg, The Case for Delayed Adulthood). Children are more open to new experiences and are more easily formed by what is
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