Catcher in the Rye Essay on the Immaturity of Holden Caufield

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In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher is the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caufield emerges from a trying and emotional series of events and does not grow emotionally but remains as immature as he was at the beginning of the novel. The story is about the difficulties of growing up. Most people come out of their teenager years as more responsible and mature people. Holden goes through many stressful events during the weekend, but instead of coming out more mature and grown up, he still has the same childish views on life; he is violent minded, depressed, confused, and irresponsible. Throughout the whole novel, Holden fantasizes about killing people, he is baffled by sex, and he does not think out his actions.

During the beginning of the story, Holden thinks about killing people many times. He wanted to kill Stradlater, his roommate, for dating Jane Gallagher, his old friend. Holden knew what kind of guy Stradlater was and he was afraid he took advantage of Jane. Holden actually does fight Stradlater but gets hurt pretty badly. He then puts his hunting hat on and says it is a “people shooting” hat. Later on in the story, Holden again thinks about killing people. When Maurice, the pimp, hurts Holden and steals his money, Holden pretends that he had been shot in the stomach and his guts were falling out. He then pretends that he is staggering down the stairs with a gun to shoot Maurice and get revenge. Holden does not actually do this, but it shows how he is immature and violent. Also, while Holden is visiting Phoebe’s school, he sees that someone has written “fuck” on the wall. He becomes very angry and wants the bash the skull of whoever did that on the marble floor so they are all bloody. Again we see that Holden has much anger in him. He does not know how to deal with it and that shows he has not grown up.

Holden also does not ever figure out his views on sex. At the beginning he hates Stradlater because he takes advantage of girls. He says has never done anything...
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