Dilemma of Holden in the Catcher in the Rye

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In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger there are many reasons why, Holden Caulfield, acts the way he does. Holden grows up with a fear of being an adult as well as being a child. As time moves forward it always seems like Holden is stuck in between remaining a child, but still wanting to grow up, fearing adulthood as well. Two examples of Holden being stuck between childhood and adulthood, is when he uses his Red hunting hat as a safety blanket, and when he wants to act like an adult he does but either is a compulsive liar, or acts very childish when things do not go his way. Holden demonstrates his fear of adulthood when he wears his red hunting hat. Holden has a fear of growing up or changing. The red hunting hat is like a mask that he wears so it gives him something to hide behind. When Holden wears his red hunting hat, it somehow provides the heart to act brave like an adult, but it really is not him being himself . When he was leaving Pencey Prep he “was sort of crying. He didn’t know why” (Salinger 52). Holden was very frustrated about being kicked out of Pencey Prep but he could not admit his own defeat. Whenever something would occur in a negative way, Holden usually had a very immature action that would follow the occurring event. While Holden was leaving Pencey Prep, he says “I put my red hunting hat on, and turned the peak around to the back, the way I liked it, and then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice, “sleep tight, ya morons!” (Salinger 52). To Holden, It is his safety net that lets him stop being a child for a little bit and actually act like adult. Who was crying just moments ago, abruptly gained the guts to yell in the hallway at all of the sleeping students. He gets this courage from his red hunting hat. Whenever something goes wrong in Holden’s life he begins to act like a child.

As Holden tries to act like an adult by doing adult things, if things do not go as planned he begins to switch back into child mode. When...
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