Examples Of Puberty In Catcher In The Rye

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Puberty. What do people think of when they hear that word? For most, flashbacks of acne, growing pains, awkward and uncomfortable bodies, and mental awakenings flow into their minds. Everyone goes through this phase, and the characteristics of maturity are prominent in the novel Catcher In The Rye. Both the protagonist, Holden, as well as his peers experience these changes. Their shoulders broaden, they grow taller, gain weight, produce more oil, smell bad, move away from their parents and turn to friends, they gain interest in the opposite sex, and compare themselves to others. Constantly throughout the novel Catcher In The Rye, Holden and his peers may seem abnormal, but in reality they fit the characteristics of growing up and experiencing …show more content…
According to Dr. Dan Siegel, “Nature has created a system that drives us to seek change and novelty, a push for the unfamiliar and even the uncertain, which is what a teen must do if they’re ever going to get out of the house” (Siegel). Teenagers may seem like they’re rebellious or making rash decisions, though these traits are normal for their age. For example, in Catcher In The Rye, Holden makes the irrational and perhaps impulsive decision to leave everything he has at Pencey Prep, his boarding school, and try to live in New York for a few days alone. In the novel he states, “All of a sudden, I decided what I’d really do, I’d get the hell out of Pencey- right the same night and all. I mean not wait till Wednesday or anything. I just didn’t want to hang around anymore” (Salinger 57). Holden’s actions seem foolhardy and immature, though what he did is just a result, among the many, of the natural changes that he is experiencing through his teenage years. Another example of his immature decisions is when he decides to get a prostitute. Holden is “seeking change and novelty” because sex is something that he is unfamiliar with. Despite the weirdness of Holden’s actions, they are …show more content…
They turn to their friends whom take the place that their parents once did. They also explore dating and sexual intimacy. One source reports, “...the primary goal of the teen years is to achieve independence. To do this, teens must start pulling away from their parents - especially the parent whom they’re closest to” (kidshealth.org). At a few points the novel, Holden does this. One example is when he goes to Mr. Antolini for help instead of his parents when he is feeling down. Another example is when Holden hires a prostitute, to only end up wanting to talk to her because he felt alone, instead of contacting his family. Many teens trust the “better judgment” of their friends rather than their parents. This behavior is what encourages them to branch off from their parents and develop relationships with others, which is what they will have to do when they live on their own. Siegel addresses this saying, “Instead of turning only toward your parents, you start turning to your peers more, which is a very healthy thing to do” (Siegel). Teenagers also explore sexual intimacy. “You might notice your child is… starting to develop and explore sexual identity. Your child might start to have romantic relationships or go one dates” (raisingchildren.net.au). This source goes on to say, “Early teenage relationships often involve exploring physical intimacy and sexual feelings” (raisingchildren.net.au). These characteristics are very

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