Is Holden Caulfield a Typical Teenager?

Topics: The Catcher in the Rye, Adolescence, Last Day of the Last Furlough Pages: 2 (571 words) Published: May 8, 2010
In the novel, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a 16 year old boy from New York City. He recently got the ax from his school, Pencey Prep, for failing four classes. He ends up roaming around the streets of New York City for three days, after leaving school early for Winter Break. Through Holden’s adventures, he becomes addicted to smoking, drinking and going out to night clubs. This conclusion leads me to think that he has the common issues that teens deal with daily.

Although Holden secludes himself from the rest of the world, he is very much like a typical teenager when it comes to having problems in school. Holden reveals a strong hate for school. In chapter one, he states that “he didn’t know anyone at Pencey that was splendid and clear-thinking and all. Maybe two guys. If that many.” (pg. 6) Later, Holden gets kicked out from his school, Pencey Prep “on account of flunking four subjects and not applying” himself and all. (pg. 6) Holden is well known because teens can relate to him in so many things including issues in school.

It seems that whenever Holden would get depressed he would turn to abusing alcohol, which is common among teens. In chapter 10, Holden was in a night club and he tried to order a scotch and soda, when the waiter asked for some verification of his age. (pg. 90-91) It seems that Salinger made this the only time alcohol wasn’t readily available in the novel. In chapter 12, Holden was at another night club, Ernie’s, when he tried again to order a scotch and soda, and was able to do so easily. He states that even if you were six years old you could get liquor at Ernie’s; nobody cared how old you were. (pg.111) Again in chapter 20, Holden gets drunk at another night club. (pg. 194) The Catcher in the Rye demonstrates many life lessons, such as not abusing alcohol.

In the novel, Holden Caulfield is like a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit anywhere in the puzzle, meaning he doesn’t fit in with the world. He has a...
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