The journey from childhood to adulthood is a difficult process. In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield goes on a journey and he appears to be childish, immature, and idealistic throughout the novel. For example, it is very immature for Holden to scream out, “Sleep tight, ya morons!” (Salinger 59) when he leaves Pencey Prep. As Holden goes through his journey, he is exposed to the real adult world; however, he has trouble coping with the world and growing up in it. Holden is not successful with growing up and becoming an adult, but he is successful in discovering what it really means to be a child or an adult. He finds his breakthrough on these two concepts while watching Phoebe ride the carousel in Central Park. As Holden goes on this journey to becoming an adult, he tries to grow up, fails, and then realizes what his role is between childhood and adulthood.
This story is about a character named Holden Caulfield, the sixteen-year-old protagonist of the novel, and his experiences in school and New York City.
[It is a] story of a quest, a search for truth in a world that has been dominated by falsity, the search for personal integrity, by a hero who constantly falls short of his own ideal, in fact, participates in the very falsity he is trying to escape. (Trowbridge 42)
Holden’s struggle of growing up is evident because he appears to be childish, immature, and idealistic. Holden intentionally makes rude remarks and jokes to innocent people because he…