Adolescence is a time of existence in two worlds. One world having
the desire to be in the adult world, which is filled with all the unknown
wonders of the world. The other world is the world of childhood which is
comfortable and protected from all the impurities in the world. This sort
of tug of war between the two worlds is not only mentally imposed on a
being, but physically, socially, and morally as well. With all the
mentioned above, often times an adult will discourage an action of an
adolescent by saying they are too old to a act a certain way, and then will
turn around and say they are too young to do something, like go out late or
go on dates. These contradictions can lead an adolescent to complete
uncertainty of their actions. J.B. Salingers book, The Catcher in the Rye,
aptly describes the immense confusion of the in between stages of being a
boy and a man.
Throughout the whole story, the narrator, Holden tries to act both
the boy and thw man but cannot. He tries in vain to get a grip on the
adult world, but never is quite successful. Holden's first attempt at
adulthood is exemplified when he leaves his school without permission from
his parents or the school. This act in itself sets the stage for his trial
and error attitude about adulthood in the sense he failed out of school,
which was a childish act. He tries to rectify his failing out of school by
leaving, which he views as an adult act. Holden's leaving school
represents his need for independence and he achieves this by leaving.
Another of Holden's failed attempts at ...
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Pinsker, Sanford. The Catcher In The Rye: Innocence Under Pressure. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993.
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