Catcher In The Rye Childhood Vs Adulthood Analysis

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Going through puberty creates enough stress and emotional instability by itself, but transitioning from child to an adult becomes even more complicated when society demands physical and mental maturity from children. Being surrounded by people that increasingly glorify sex and alcohol as they get older pressure teens to feel like they need to take part in loose activities. These drastic differences between childhood and adulthood result in emotional turmoil. J.D. Salinger’s the Catcher in the Rye illustrates how harmful forcing teenagers into adults can be to their mental health and wellness. Growing up introduces people to new emotions and desires, such as lust and drinking. While transitioning from being a kid to becoming an adult, teenagers …show more content…
Having his adolescence be oppressed by everyone around him, makes him welcome death. Salinger’s message about how damaging it can be to force adulthood onto teenagers is very effective since Holden not only hates almost everything and everyone around, but would also prefer death than become a phony adult. Later as Holden contemplates death, he “started thinking how old Phoebe would feel if [he] got pneumonia and died” (Salinger, 173). Holden cares more for Pheobe than he cares for himself, so his only reason for staying alive is to preserve her happiness and innocence. Instead of running away from society’s pressure, or killing himself, Holden stays with his sister. When Phoebe says that she has grown too big to ride the carrousel, Holden encourages her to ride it anyway, protecting her childhood for as long as he can. By upholding his sister’s purity, Holden ultimately becomes the catcher in the rye by keeping her from falling off of the metaphorical cliff of phoniness that comes with adulthood. Even though the depression that comes with the realization that he is expected to transition from a child to an adult almost cost him his life as he knew it, Holden holds on to his little bit of happiness that Phoebe gives

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