Examples Of Growing Up In Catcher In The Rye

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In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, we are introduced to a character named Holden Caulfield. Throughout the story Holden struggles both internally and externally with thoughts or actions that involve the concept of growing up. Events within the story that depict Holden’s internal struggle with growing up can be found when Holden has the interaction with Sunny, learning about Stradlater’s relationship with Jane and finding “Fuck you” written in the wall of Phoebe 's school. Growing up for Holden proves to be an immensely difficult experience and this is amplified by the limited parental guidance that he is provided with. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, (source), Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers by Chap Clark, (source), …show more content…
For Holden, his sister Phoebe 's innocence and the innocence of children like her is the last true valuable asset that the world full of phonies contains. One event in the story that shows Holden’s value for the innocence of children can be found when Holden is walking in Phoebe’s school to give her a note and finds “Fuck you” written on the wall. “While I was walking up the stairs, though, I thought I was going to puke again. Only, I didn’t. I sat down for a second, and then I felt better. But while I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody’d written ‘Fuck you’ on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they’d wonder what the hell it meant,” Seeing the writing of this explicit language on the wall of a school where little innocent kids were every single day made Holden very upset. Rubbing “Fuck you” off of the wall can be seen as Holden’s attempt to protect children from the explicit language of the adult world. By doing this Holden shows the reader again another example of his internal conflict with growing up. He not only didn’t want to grow up himself but he didn’t want other people to have to experience this process. Seeing this language and learning what it symbolizes is an event that Holden links with the loss of innocence. He does not want Phoebe or her classmates to have to ever see this …show more content…
Sexual desires, body changes, responsibility and more result from this process. The cause for many of the events in this book that gave birth to Holden’s internal conflict with growing up can best be explained by the lack of guidance from his parents. An excerpt from article, Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers by Chap Clark, provides evidence supporting the theory that the cause for Holden’s internal conflict with growing up was his parents, “Adolescents have suffered the loss of the safe relationships and intimate settings that served as the primary nurturing community for those traveling the path from child to adult. The most obvious example of this is in the family. The postmodern family is often so concerned about the needs, struggles and issues of the parents that the emotional and developmental needs of the children go largely unmet.” Holden is not given the proper nurturing and love that is necessary for him to meet the challenges of growing up. Instead he is forced to face these things on his own and as a result he faces many of them the wrong way. Because of the lack of family support in Holden’s family at home, an internal conflict with the process of growing up was

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