Theme Of Growing Up In Catcher In The Rye

992 Words 4 Pages
Growing up is a difficult process that everyone must endure. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden does not cope well with becoming an adult and moving on from the death of his little brother, Allie. He holds on tightly to the memories of his childhood and wishes that he could be a child forever. Holden does not want to grow up because he fears change and does not want to leave his childhood behind.
Holden has a strong connection to Allie and does not want to become an adult because Allie will always be a child. He tells the reader, “What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get very depressed. I keep telling him to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon’s
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He comments, “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was” (121). Since the museum has not changed since he was young, it is easy for Holden to hold onto this part of his childhood and to prevent change while he is there. He also knows that unlike the museum, he changes and is different every time he visits. He observes, “Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.” (121). Although Holden does not like it, he recognizes that each time he returns to the museum he is older and closer to adulthood. The museum is the one thing in Holden’s life that he can rely on to stay the same and he wishes that all aspects of life could be unchanging as well. He tells the reader, “Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to just stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone” (122). The glass cases in the museum represent Holden’s desire to not grow up and to keep things exactly the way they are forever. Holden appreciates the museum because it is unchanging just like he wishes his life could …show more content…
Holden often wants to speak to Jane, but he never gets the courage to do so. He admits, “But when I got inside this phone booth, I wasn’t much in the mood anymore to give old Jane a buzz” (150). Holden is worried that if he talks to Jane, she will not be the same person he remembers her to be, and he does not want her to change. Holden also does not want Jane to lose her innocence. He informs the reader, “Everytime I get to the part with Stradlater in that damn Ed Banky’s car, it almost drove me crazy. I knew she wouldn’t let him get to first base with her, but it drove me crazy anyway” (80). Holden believes that protecting others’ innocence will help him to keep his own. If those around him do not grow up, he does not feel obligated to either. Holden reminisces on his time with Jane when he finds out that she and Stradlater go on a date. He requests of Stradlater, “‘Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row’” (34). Although Jane was not a part of Holden’s life as a young child, she still plays a large role in his unwillingness to grow up. Holden wants to know if Jane still has the same habits as she used to because he does not want to have to change along with her.
Holden has difficulty dealing with change because he does not want to grow up and move on from his childhood. Allie’s death greatly contributes to this

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