The Theory Of Self Orientation

1957 Words May 30th, 2016 8 Pages
Self-Orientation in a Confusing World The conscious essence is what defines each person as an individual. In the adolescent years one establishes their true self and begins to feel out their adult personality as they mature and grow as a person. For some this is a daunting task filled with confusion and self-doubt. The existentialist movement focuses on the independence of an individual to shape their lives through choices which help create their own values and give meaning to their own lives. The absurdity of the natural world, authenticity of the individual, and the angst that comes with life, which define existentialism, would manifest themselves with the end of World War II and the onset of the Cold War. These same beliefs can be seen in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, a novel which follows the cynical and apathetic teenager Holden Caulfield, on his journey of self-introspection and a search for his true self. Existential elements are abundant in the story, but the element of choice seems to establish itself with a prominence in Holden’s life. The novel explores how existentialism sees choice, in each action, as the way in which one establishes one’s essence, and realizing this begins as one matures. The immaturity with which Holden faces his choices keeps him from progressing as a person. His maturation is being held back by his refusal to accept that adulthood is inevitable, along with its responsibilities. His understandings of adult activities are still…

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