In his novel, The Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger characterizes Holden not only as a seemingly typical confused, rebellious and immature adolescent, but also as a young man who suffers from the effects to bereavement and consequently, is frequently anxious, depressed and exhibits seriously risky behaviors. The story, in summary, tells the bildungsroman of sixteen-year–old Holden Caulfield following his expulsion from his fourth private school, Pencey Prep. Here, a disillusioned boy struggles with the idea of aging and death following the loss of his younger brother Allie.
Like most adolescents, Holden is confused, rebellious and immature. For example, whilst conversing with Mr. Spencer about Holden ‘getting the axe’, the teenager stated “I'm just going through a phase right now,” eventually asking “Everybody goes through phases and all, don't they?" (Salinger, 15). Here, Holden is confused about a typically normal teenage occurrence, phases. Secondly, when talking to his younger sister it was revealed that “[he doesn't] like any schools. He doesn’t] like a million things." (Salinger, __). Not liking things is direct and typical form of rebellion. Generation after generation, it has been common for teens to break down the walls of conformity. Finally, at the end of his date with Sally, he shares his dream of running away with her claiming to have only a mere amount of “a hundred and eighty bucks in the bank” to which he plans on in “[taking] it out when it opens in the morning, [to] go down and get this guy's car’ to live off cabin camps until ‘the dough runs out,” (Salinger, 132). Sally, however, recognizing this to be an immediate immature direction of life tells Holden, “We'll have oodles of time to do those things--all those things. I mean after you go to college and all, and if we should get married and all. There'll be oodles of marvelous places to go to,” (Salinger 133).
However, Holden is clearly a young man who suffers from the effects of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document