Many things in the world shape who people become. Everyone makes mistakes, they try to learn from them and try to move on and not dwell on the past. One’s mistakes and the experiences that people go through in life shape the person that they become. In the Catcher in the Rye written by J.D. Salinger shows, various characters, events and symbols that illustrate Holden Caulfield’s struggles to accept his inevitable transition into adulthood. Multiple people in the novel show and explain to Holden that there is more to life than being a child. The events in Holden’s life have made it challenging to let go of the past. The various symbols displayed in the novel demonstrate Holden’s fight against becoming an adult. His lifestyle choices create great concern for his future with possible serious outcomes. Holden’s ability to appreciate the impact of his immature choices are recognized by those who surround him, yet they are unable to convince him of this necessary change.
Many characters in the novel try to help Holden let go of his childhood innocence and move into adulthood. Holden’s sister Phoebe, expresses her concern about his resistance to getting older by telling her brother that he never seems to care about anything, and always looks in the past, not the future. When Phoebe and Holden are arguing, Phoebe says; “You don’t like anything that’s happening” (Salinger169). Holden dwells in the past, with a fixation about Allie’s death despite Phoebe’s attempts to help Holden realize that he needs move on. Mr. Antolini, Holden’s previous teacher tries to give him a piece of advice in hope of having Holden recognize the value of maturity. Mr. Antolini states “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one” (188). What Mr. Antolini is trying to tell Holden is that he has to accept the inevitable transition into adulthood. He tells Holden that he does not have what...
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. Print.
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