The Theme Of Adolescence In The Catcher In The Rye

730 Words3 Pages
Everyone goes through the mysterious stage of life known as adolescence. Here, “most adults value exploration, growth and pain” (Spacks 3). For some individuals, its all about finding where you fit in society or choosing to stand out. Will you conform to society’s expectations? Or become individualistic? Because of these distinct paths, young adult literature has taken on two competing models in order to tackle the adolescence stage. In a entwickhungsroman novel, you see the protagonists’ general growth rather than their introspection. In a Bildungsroman novel, however, the plot involves the moral and psychological growth of the protagonist from childhood to adulthood. The Catcher in the Rye is a primary example of this type of genre. Despite trying everything in his power to not grow up, Holden Caulfield finally realizes that its inevitable and must be done. Appropriately written in the 1950s, Salinger does an excellent job of bring in the “teenage rebellion” culture to life. Getting kicked out of numerous schools, fighting with roommates, smoking cigarettes, and disobeying parents are some of the events Holden has done during his adolescent years. This story might not have an obvious plot structure, but through a variety of characters and events Holden finally develops feelings and maturity. In the beginning, you find out he is getting kicked out of school for the fourth time in a row, failing almost all his classes, and gets into fights most of his friends. One of
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