The Importance Of Childhood To Adulthood In The Catcher In The Rye

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Terri Apter once said that “adolescence is society 's permission slip for combining physical maturity with psychological irresponsibility.” Adolescence, or more precisely the transition from childhood to adulthood, is often associated with one’s struggle to become unique and create a bright future. A stage in life full of self-discovery and an acceptance of the responsibilities of adulthood, adolescence can be a daunting, yet truly fulfilling experience. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and in the 2013 film The Spectacular Now, Holden Caulfield and Sutter Keely, two high school seniors, struggle to accept the inevitability of growing up, and they illustrate their reluctance to move on through their erratic behaviour and …show more content…
He continually points out the phoniness in the adults he encounters; to him, phoniness is reflected by those with a lack of innocence and those that display self-confidence, as well as “show-offs” and people that care about their reputation – or as he frames it, their popularity. His inability to transition into adulthood is seen not only by seeking out the phoniness that exists around him, but also his desire to hold a close relationship to museums, which are symbolic of their stable nature, as well as his desire to protection the innocence of children. Unlike Sutter, Holden does not care about being liked by others, but instead he likes to create a false reality to make his situation seem less miserable. This can be visibly seen throughout the novel, particularly in his justification of marriage. While Holden waits for Sally to arrive for their date, he indulges himself by watching girls, which in adulthood, is seen as psychologically irresponsible. Although he enjoys the sight, he also finds it depressing, because he assumes that most of [the girls] would probably marry dopey guys” (Salinger, 123). In this instance, the reader witnesses Holden as he attempts to justify adulthood as a bad place to grow up into, where girls become involved in distrusting relationships. Furthermore, Holden defends the purity of children as seen by his quick judgement of a lady during the movie he went to watch with Sally. The lady seemed to be so intrigued by the contents of the film, that her child was being ignored, and when he had to use the washroom, “she kept telling him to sit still and behave himself” (139). Holden sees this act as “phony”, and furthers his belief that adults make the world a cruel place and lack the purity that is contained within a

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