The Catcher In The Rye Analysis

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One must inevitably confront the daunting face of adulthood. In J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger depicts the disheartening journey from adolescence to adulthood that Holden Caulfield endures. Although holden seeks the freedoms that mark adulthood, he has yet to take up the role of a truly mature citizen as the society conforming nature of those adults disgust him, leading him to his gradual mental decline. J. D. Salinger uses the immature character of Holden Caulfield as a means of revealing the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood and its psychological effects. Salinger portrays Holden Caulfield as immature. As a result, he does not accept his general surroundings, and conversely, his environment does not…show more content…
Yet, he constantly behaves this way and is a clear cause of his rejection and loneliness that he experiences throughout his solitary journey.
The author depicts Holden’s struggle to find meaning and acceptance, and conveys his loneliness when Holden comments “I felt so lonesome all of a sudden. I almost wished I was dead” (Salinger 54). Here it is already clear of the psychological effects loneliness is having on him; Holden has fallen into a depression. This is a result of his failure to find acceptance, or how Irving puts it, “These experiences are the result of his rejection of society” (Irving 87), suggesting that the coming of age in general is a turbulent process due to society and human behavior. Additionally, the detrimental mind set that stems from Holden’s inability to find acceptance is a clear indication of his internal conflict of a remaining adolescent perspective, but the refusal to appease societal expectations he is against and behave maturely. Writer Hugh Maclean describes this as Salinger’s way of conveying the “difficulty of attaining moral stability” in such a society (qtd. In “J.D. Salinger”). The author hints at Holden’s confused mental state with himself and the world around him when Holden questions a taxi driver about where the ducks go during the winter, and he responds with, “How the hell should I know a stupid thing like that (Salinger 91). The driver not being able to answer his “stupid”
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