Childhood and Adulthood in the Catcher in the Rye

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Apr 30, 2024
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  2
Order Original Essay

How it works

The Catcher in the Rye represents childhood as innocence and adulthood as being phony. Holden refuses to grow up but his age and school is forcing it upon him. Holden has a great protection of a child’s innocence. He was alienated from the society. And is disgusted by the phoniness of the adult world. He is just trying to protect his adolescence and others close to him.

Holden believes strongly in protecting adolescence innocence. He has a fear for maturity and growing up.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

He does not see Jane as a maturing girl who is growing up but more as the girl who he use to play checkers with. Never has Holden made sexual advances towards Jane but more just hold her hand and comfort her in times of need. It especially bothered Holden at the thought that Jane may have been sexually abused by her drunk step-father or has been doing things with Stradlater. Holden wears a red hat to stand out from everyone else. The hat is also red to represent the innocence of Allie and Phoebe since their hair color is red. He tries to protect Phoebe the most. She wants to run away with him and he doesn’t want to tell her everything about his life just to protect her. Holden refuses to let her run away with him and at the end of this novel he just watches with joy when Phoebe is on the carousel because of her innocence.The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole []. Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.. This quote represents how Holden does not like growing up and how everything is changing in his life constantly. He wishes he could be like the pictures, just nothing changes no matter how many times you goes back to it. As time goes along though he himself is the only things changing and he does not like it.

Holden alienates himself from society. He feels he is more honorable than anyone other student at Pencey when he leaves. His main problem is isolating himself from everybody. After leaving Pencey he doesn’t go straight to his home he goes to a hotel and just watches people. Sexuallity is also a big problem he says he is the sex master but he’s never had sex and he believes he wants it but when it come down to it like when the prostitute comes to his room he just pays her and asked her to leave. This Catcher in the Rye essay topics is very important for a general understanding of the main message of the novel. He really just wanted someone to talk because he is lonely in his isolated state. Even emotional intimacy Holden yearns for. such as his relationship with Jane Gallagher, he did not want physical intimacy he just wanted to be there with her. Yet he still just alienates himself through the entire novel not letting anyone in to help. When he went to his teachers they just made it worse such as his english teacher who he found out was a homosexual which hurts him more.

Holden hates the phoniness of the adults and his fellow peers. There is hypocrisy and shallowness in the adult world. though Holden shows phoniness at times it is one of the main reasons he alienated himself from society. The phoniness of the adult world is why Holden thinks it’s important to protect a child’s innocence. He’s just scared to grow up and be like them because he holds himself to some higher standard of being real. Even though he is the true hypocrite, putting other people down to make himself seem like a better person, and blaming others for his problems.

All of the points tie into one another. They show how important protecting the adolescence is to Holden and how it shapes him throughout the novel. He wants to protect children’s innocence, Alienates himself from society, and is disgusted by the Phoniness of the adult world. Holden truly is something special but even he must understand that you can’t stay young forever.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Childhood and adulthood in The Catcher in the Rye. (2019, Mar 01). Retrieved from