Literary Essay: Catcher in the Rye
“When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge. You may already be on it. The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross, it burns behind you”. Once said by Gail Carson Levine in his novel Writing Magic can relate to the theme of innocence vs. maturation for Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield is a teenager, on the bridge stuck in between childhood, and adulthood. Holden doesn’t want to walk towards adulthood but, the burning of his childhood lays behind him. Holden is holding onto childhood, he doesn’t want to grow up, he fears what adulthood is going to bring him. Are these two concepts as different as Holden believes? Why does he believe this? Holden stands on the bridge doing everything he can to get through the fire and burning of his childhood. Only to lead him to being burned. Throughout the novel, Holden is different from most. The world is against him. He doesn’t want to grow up, he wants to be able to understand everything. Holden believes that when you become an adult, it’s all confusion, and phoniness. There isn’t answers to everything, and for children… people find an answer to everything for them, no matter how bizarre it may seem. Holden is scared of adulthood, he knows it is filled with phoniness, and superficiality. He hates it but, he doesn’t realize he is guilty of his sins in criticism. Holden criticizes everyone, when he can be a phony himself. Holden is just scared of the way people are. He says all adults are like that, yet he is becoming one himself. Holden consistently ties together the words "depressed" and "lonesome”. “When I finally got down off the radiator and went out to the hat-check room, I was crying and all. I don't know why, but I was. I guess it was because I was feeling so damn depressed and lonesome”. (20.37). Holden is very confused about his feelings, and who he is throughout the novel. Reading it, you...
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