Catcher In The Rye Passage Analysis

Decent Essays
Adolescence represents a time of confusion and discovery of self-identity for many teenagers. For other youths, this coming-of-age process evokes fakery and social facades in an attempt to appeal to socio-cultural expectations. Within the novel Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger conveys important lessons of the reluctance of change yet the unfailing necessity of growth. Although the desire to cling to childhood and the unchanging past prevails in Holden’s mind, change cannot be avoided forever. Salinger unfolds these ideas through Holden’s voice, his actions, and his relationship with other characters. Throughout the novel, Holden speaks with a unique voice riddled with slang and absolutes. His hypocritical attitude implies his immaturity but also unveils the discrepancy between the world inside his mind and his actions. “The trouble with girls is, if they like a boy, no matter how big a bastard he is, they’ll say he has an inferiority complex, and if they don’t like him, no matter how nice a guy he is, or how nice a guy is, or how big an inferiority complex he has, they’ll say he’s conceited” (Salinger 151). Holden attempts to organize the behavior of others within set patterns. However, by fitting the actions of others within absolutes, Holden fails to recognize the inherent…show more content…
Holden experiences these struggles, from his fixation on the past; his desire to protect the innocence of others; and insecurities over his appearance and sexuality. Modern day teenagers face the same struggles, sometimes failing to connect their changing minds and bodies to their preconceived notions of society. We find it difficult to reconcile the idealized image of a person imprinted upon us by society to the people that we have become. Though we may resist change in order to cling to familiar boundaries, growth is essential to becoming a person capable of understanding yourself and
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