Essay about Holden Caulfield 's The Catcher Of The Rye

1113 Words Sep 5th, 2016 5 Pages
“No one loses their innocence. It is either taken or given away willingly” (Tiffany Madison, Black and White). In J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, protagonist Holden Caulfield is confronted with this ultimatum, and decides that he will neither give away his innocence nor give in to adulthood. Despite the inevitability of growing up, Holden resists maturing vehemently. Holden’s desire to remain himself and never grow up is a central facet of his character, but his immature behavior in conjunction with the futility of his resistance ultimately leads to his emotional breakdown.
From the beginning, Holden reveals that he is telling his story from a mental institution. He creates a flashback and chronicles the events that landed him in his current predicament. At his old school, Pencey, Holden displays his immaturity by demonstrating no interest in school work or grades. To his history teacher, he writes, “Dear Mr. Spencer...It is all right with me if you flunk me though as I am flunking everything else except English anyway” (15). By blowing off his classes and never considering the effect school will have on his life, Holden proves how irresponsible and careless he is. Holden makes a weak argument, asserting “Oh, I feel some concern for my future all right...But not too much, I guess” (17). Holden makes it undeniably clear that he simply does not care that his failing grades will affect him later in life. The sophomoric, cynical, and impetuous traits he displays while at…

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