Essay about Holden Caulfield 's The Catcher Of A Self Reliant Young Man

1658 Words Dec 8th, 2014 7 Pages
The Catcher in the Rye illustrates within its masterful pages the gradual maturation of an immature boy into a self-reliant young man. It is the unorthodox story of seventeen year-old Holden Caulfield, who is growing up in the decadent world of New York. He has thus far been unable to come terms with the fact that eventually, he must grow up, and that the world will never be pure. Holden has profound difficulty in accepting the inevitable, which in turn delays any form of progression towards adulthood. Caulfield’s rite of passage is at last accomplished through the occurrence of independent events that allowed for an epiphany in the form of the Central Park carousel in the last lines of the novel. Consequent release from his pessimistic, childish view of the world allows Holden to embrace the changes that come with age and newfound wisdom.
The protection of innocence, namely concerning that of children, is seen as a primary virtue in Holden’s eyes; closely related to his struggle with growing up. To him, adult behavior symbolizes all that is cruel and misleading in the world. He has waged a war against artificiality, and admires any who represent innocence, or any whose goal is to protect it such as him. For example, Holden views Jane Gallagher, a friend with whom he spent much time with one summer, as the girl he used to play checkers with, as opposed to the maturing young lady that she is. He comforted her when she was upset, and was greatly disturbed to think that Jane…

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