Coming of Age in Catcher in the Rye Essay

1143 Words Jan 19th, 2013 5 Pages
The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D Salinger is a coming of age story. It is a story narrated by the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, who is a sixteen year old boy, but has a mind of a ten year old innocent kid. In the beginning he thinks of innocence as important, but later he realizes that growing up cannot be stopped. He wanders around the New York City by himself and gains experience of life that teaches him to become mature. This book is clearly written to show the theme of coming of age because it shows many symbols of coming of age, it shows the changes of young adults in modern life, and it creates an image of Holden growing up.

There are many symbols that represent coming of age in this book. The author hides the
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It’s impossible” this sentence can be described as how even the society lacks of innocence, even kids who are in elementary school are growing up (202). The symbols can be seen as emphasis of coming of age, and foreshadows Holden, himself, of growing up later in the book.

The Catcher in the Rye, not only sets an example of coming of age in Holden’s life, but the changes of children turning into an adult in modern life. Even though, Catcher in the Rye is written more than fifty years ago, but many readers can connect to Holden’s life. One of the connections the readers can connect is the stress from social life. In the book, Holden is stressed out in life, such as: school and families. The connection tells the readers that they are growing up gradually, like the characters in the book. In the book, there are many examples of drinking, smoking and sex; it provides the image to the readers that many teenagers, about Holden age, are becoming more like adults. For instance, a character named Sunny, who is a prostitute, surprises Holden when she comes in through the door. When he sees her, he exclaims that “she was around [his] age” (94). This example shows that even the young adults back then are growing up to fast, and reminds the readers that people in this modern society would be becoming mature in a faster speed. In the modern society that many readers live in, the teenagers that drink and smoke, this unbelievable source of information can…

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