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Tucker Wright
Catcher in the Rye Essay
2008 (B): In some works of literature, childhood and adolescence are portrayed as times graced by innocence and a sense of wonder; in other works, they are depicted as times of tribulation and terror. Focusing on a single novel or play, explain how its representation of childhood or adolescence shapes the meaning of the work as a whole.

Often when one looks back on their life as a child, they often see their time as a child to be one of the most peaceful times in their lives. This is because as a child we are not given the same responsibilities as we are when we are adults. Most people are able to take this step from childhood to adulthood while others are not. Holdin Caulfield from the novel the Catcher in the Rye doesn’t take this step good at all.

Holdin tries to resist his change into maturity and he often resists the change of others around him. Holdin sees childhood as a time of peacefulness and innocence. This is evident in the way he looks at his old friend Jane. He still sees her as the innocent little girl that he hung out with one summer a long time ago while others do not. When Stradlater comes home from his date with her me mentions that he “had fun” with her. Holdin would not except that she would do something like that because of the way he still looks at her. This view of Jane is a reference of the transformation from childhood to adulthood. Also everything and everyone he calls a “phony” is an adult figure, even his friends that are changing from adolescence. When he references to someone or something as a “phony”, he is talking about how bad that person or thing is. He bashes everything that has to do with adulthood mostly because he cannot face his fear of growing up.

The whole book is about reality and Holdin just doesn’t want to face the reality that you cannot hold your innocence in forever. This reality is something that everyone has to face but Holdin cannot handle it....
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