Catcher In The Rye Holden Maturity Analysis

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Holden’s Social Path to Maturity Holden interacted with many strangers throughout the book The Catcher in the Rye. He struck up conversations with just about anyone he could talk to, but was very selective when deciding if he would keep the conversation going. He was only interested in the conversation if the person had a good first impression on him, otherwise he would walk away. Also, he hated talking to people who were fake or phony, and he could tell when anyone wasn’t sincere. The conversations he usually carried on were the ones he had with women. However, at the start of the story, there were problems with the ways he continued to interact with the women who he chose to talk to. Holden would think or make inappropriate remarks, and…show more content…
The scene where he talked with Mrs. Morrow, the mother of one of his former classmates at Pencey, really captured his immaturity. Right off the bat, Holden decided to “shoot the crap” and lie to her about her son and to falsely praised him. Personal amusement seemed to be the reason for his lies and exaggerations, which is completely selfish and exactly the way an immature person would act. He not only put her son up on a fake pedestal, but he also kept thinking about her in an intimate way. Holden’s first impression of Mrs. Morrow was “she was around forty-five, I guess, but she was very good-looking” (Salinger, p. 61). First of all, this is just wrong because she’s more than twice his age. Secondly, it shows that the first thing he thinks about when he sees a woman is how she appears and looks. To think about how attractive a woman is is not really immature, but the way he acted on those thoughts is. After he “shot the crap” about her son and chatted with her for a little while, he offered her a cocktail. Not only is this woman a mother, but Holden is underaged and knows that, but asked her anyways. She even questioned if he was allowed to drink, and he went ahead and told her about how he could “get them on account of his height” (p. 65) and that he has “quite a bit of grey hair” (p. 65) like that would make it okay to have a drink. He’s attempting to break the law…show more content…
Unlike his previous conversation with Mrs. Morrow, he acted in a much more mature manner. The first thing he did when he saw the nuns was pick up one of their suitcases after they had dropped it. He respected their beliefs, politely answered and elaborated on their questions and offered to pay their check for them. He was showing how caring and open he was, which are all signs of a maturity. Also, he contributed to their collection even though he didn’t have a lot of money at the time, and later wished he had contributed more. When the nuns asked him if he was sure he could afford to donate the ten dollars, he assured them that he was able to when in reality he was running low on money. He didn’t tell the truth to the nuns for their benefit, not for his. This was a huge step for Holden, considering that not too much earlier in the book he was lying to Mrs. Morrow for his personal amusement. Though this conversation took place only a little later than his conversation with Mrs. Morrow, it still shows a huge leap in maturity for Holden. Learning from experience is a way he learned to mature. After talking to the nuns, he even said “she reminded me a bit of old Ernest Morrow’s mother” (p. 125). He took away important lessons from his first conversation, and used those in his next conversation, which made him more

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