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Holden's Attitude To Adulthood

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In J.D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the fear of change, often conflicts with ones longing to let go of the past, showing how Holdens attitude towards the world, makes him feel obligated to protect himself and others around him from moving on with life and facing reality. Holden, the protagonist of this novel, is a character that experienced a childhood in which he didn’t have much of anything he could always count on to be the same, especially since he went from school to school. In a particular part of the novel, while reminiscing about his memories of the Museum, Holden states: “The best thing though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred times, and the Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish…” (121). This reveals how much Holden values things in life remaining the same. By referring to “the Eskimo” and it still fishing for the same two fish, he is…show more content…
In a particular moment in the novel, when Holden is talking to Phoebe about what he wishes to do in the future, it becomes clearer to the readers, Holdens view towards the overall transition to adulthood. Holden vocalizes how he wishes to: “catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff- I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going…” (173). By talking about this “cliff’ Holden is comparing, the change required to becoming an adult, to death. He talks about how he hopes to save those who are about to fall over the “cliff’ but never discusses how he would go about things if he found himself at one point falling off the cliff as well. Holden is unable to confront his issue with change and why he feels a particular way towards those in society that have been impacted by change. Holden wants a world where everything is simple, but he eventually has to realize that life can not always stay the same
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