Catcher In The Rye Adulthood Essay

1805 Words 8 Pages
When adolescents are faced with the issue of ‘growing up’ many of them pounce on the opportunity to be labelled as a mature and responsible adult. In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield’s refusal to grow up fuels his journey to explore the boundaries between adolescence and adulthood and find a place for himself in a society he detests. Throughout the novel, it is the children and adults whom he encounters, as well as his internal struggles that allow him to understand his place in society, despite continuing to reject the idea of adulthood.
While the adolescents around Holden Caulfield aim to present themselves as older, Holden seeks solace in the innocence and sincerity of childhood. One of the most prominent figures
…show more content…
Holden fantasizes about being the “catcher in the rye” who saves innocent children from falling off a cliff into the darkness that he associates with adulthood. Not only does this represent Holden’s obsession with [children pedophilic] but it capitalizes on the fact that although Holden may not be able to save all the children from adulthood, he himself will always be rooted in “the rye” unable to progress from …show more content…
Holden occasionally contemplates about the ducks in Central Park wondering “where [...] the ducks go when the lagoon [gets] all icy and cold”.The time at which the ducks leave the pond is a symbolic reference to Holden’s fear of growing up. Winter is generally known for being cold and ‘dead’ forcing the ducks to leave the pond. To Holden, winter is his idea of the phony and less lively adulthood. On the contrary, during the summer the ducks are wild and free, just like how Holden sees children and childhood. Holden sees himself in the ducks as he is trying to figure out whether or not he should stay in the safety of the lagoon of childhood which he has always known or move on and “fly away” into

Related Documents