Catcher In The Rye Innocence Essay

915 Words 4 Pages
The Catcher In The Rye
At some point in one’s life, they go through the struggle of growing up. The factor of stress, pleasing your parents as well as peer pressure start to sink in. We can see just how adolescence affects and changes one in the novel The Catcher In The Rye. Throughout the novel, The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, the reader can infer that childhood adolescence as well as the loss of innocence shapes the protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Throughout this novel, Holden’s innocence is portrayed with the use of sexual experiences, use of language as well as adult desires. In this whole novel, Holden is suffering from the harsh reality of growing up. He is stuck in between being young enough to enjoy life as a child, but having
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Holden’s word choice almost immediately classifies him as a young teenager without a sense of direction or discipline. Salinger expresses, “You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear and know how sharp they were”(68). Through Holden’s perspective, everyone he meets is a “phony” or everything someone does depicts them “phonies”. Holden would rather be quick to judge someone so he does not carry them in his life in the attempt to distant everyone from his life. The reality of Holden’s adolescence begins to haunt him as he is in a mental institution. Moreover, we can see a major age difference as Holden always refers to people as old such as “old Pheobe” or “old Stradlater”. Even if someone was a few years older to vastly older than himself, he would put a label on them as old and well into …show more content…
Salinger says, “’Bring me a Coke.’ He started to go away, but I called him back. ‘Can'tcha stick a little rum in it or something?’ [...] I didn't hold it against him, though. They lose their jobs if they get caught selling to a minor. I'm a goddamn minor”(38). Holden has a mindset of an adult and he demands to be treated like one. He has been consuming alcohol illegally for a while, and once he gets denied at a public place he gets frustrated. Secondly, Holden frequently admits to wasting his life away through smoking and drinking. Salinger reflects, “I certainly began to feel like a prize horse's ass, though, sitting there all by myself. There wasn't anything to do except smoke and drink” (46). As many teenagers do as a stress reliever or as a rebellious act, Holden frequently consumes mass amounts of alcohol as well as smoking cigarettes as an outlet. These actions ultimately drives himself into deeper depression.
Conclusively, the loss of innocence as well as adolescence played a big role in the development of the protagonist Holden Caulfield in the book The Catcher In The Rye. Holden’s loss of innocence was portrayed as he tried to be grown as he started smoking and drinking to destress. However, the reader can understand that Holden was still a young teenager as his use of language was rather vague. All in all, we can see that Holden’s childhood choices

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