Holden 's Acceptance Of Alienation And The Trouble Of Growing Up

2000 Words Jun 8th, 2016 8 Pages
Holden’s Acceptance and Reluctance to Mature
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is one of the most critically acclaimed and controversial books ever written due its display of alienation and the trouble of growing up. The book follows Holden Caulfield’s journey through New York, as well as his journey to accepting adulthood. The carrousel scene and the last chapter in The Catcher in the Rye signifies not only Holden 's reluctance and acceptance to grow up, through his hat and the continuity of the carrousel, but also his inability to live by the ideas he had just become aware of due to his mental instability.
The continuity and circular motion of the carrousel show Holden’s reluctance, while Holden’s refusal to go on the carrousel shows Holden’s acceptance of adulthood. Firstly, the carrousel is circular in shape. Circles are often seen as never-ending and infinite, similar to Holden’s idea of living. As Timothy Aubry said, "Holden 's urge to shield children from danger and allow them to play endlessly exemplifies his desire to suspend time, to inhabit a space of youth preserved indefinitely" (Aubry). Holden believes the safest way to live is to not change, to stay true to who you are at that same time so you cannot become a phony. He wants everything to stay the same and takes comfort in this thought. He wants children to play in the field forever, making sure they do not fall or leave by catching them. This is the reason Holden brings Phoebe to the carrousel in the…
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