How Salinger’s Holden Caulfield Relates to Teenagers Throughout Time

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How Salinger’s Holden Caulfield Relates to Teenagers Throughout Time In 1951, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye was #1 on the New York Time’s bestseller list. Since then, the American Literary Association claims The Catcher in the Rye is a “favorite of censors.” The use of harsh language and profanity has been a long time debate of educators causing the novel to be pulled off bookshelves and propelling J.D. Salinger and his protagonist, Holden Caulfield, into reluctant fame. The translation of the book into many other languages speaks to the relevance of Holden’s teenage experience in many different nations and cultures. As J.D. Salinger takes the reader through Holden’s journey, it becomes obvious that Holden is…show more content…
Holden is attracted to the displays because they are frozen and do not change. The museum is a world that is stopped in time and everlasting. Here there is no conflict and things are simple and understandable. In contrast, in the real world, Holden is angry and confused about Allie’s death and the unfairness of the real world. Part of the pain of growing up is teenage emotion. His breakdown and confusion represent teenage angst (Favorite Fictional 2). As teenagers around the world relate to Holden’s teenage struggles, they also relate to his rebellion against society. Holden rebels against every aspect of society, including religion and materialism. Holden cannot find strong religious and moral beliefs in society and becomes angry and frustrated with both religion and society. As Holden describes his views of Christianity, “I like Jesus and all, but I don’t care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible. Take the Disciples for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were alright after Jesus was dead and all…” (Salinger 130). As teenagers go through the stage of questioning authority and society, religion is one that many teenagers question. Holden, Salinger’s unhappy and rebellious character, is a regular teenager in this aspect causing teenagers around the world to relate to him (Evans 1). Another example of Holden’s rebellion against religion is his use of the Lord’s
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