Holden Caulfield Adulthood

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Written by J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye illustrates a sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield as he explores New York and, more importantly, the struggles of adulthood. At the start of the novel, Holden is preparing for his departure from his boarding school. He has been expelled yet again. Holden runs into conflict with his roommate and ultimately decides to leave three days earlier than planned in order to escape the school and people around him that he very much dislikes. He heads to New York, where the Caulfield family has always lived. Dreading telling his parents about his expulsion, Holden embarks on a three-day journey alone in the big city of Manhattan. Holden meets with everyone from an old role model and teacher to an ex-girlfriend. He solicits a prostitute only to find himself wishing he had not. He acts immaturely and erratically as he pries open the door into the adult world, finding it messier and more artificial than hoped for. Holden visits his home to tell his sister about his situation and lets her see a more vulnerable side of him. He recalls memories of his late brother Allie, whom he admires and continues to grieve over. In addition, he analyzes his brother D.B. on account of his phoniness he has acquired as he aged. Salinger depicts the relationships between Holden and his siblings to reflect his attitude towards society and the world around him. Over time, the relationship and dynamic between Holden and his brother D.B. shapes Holden’s perception of adulthood. When Holden was younger, he appreciated his brother for the career he was choosing to pursue:…show more content…
He said it was so terrific. That’s what I can’t understand. It had this guy in it names Lieutenant Henry that was supposed to be a nice guy and all. I don’t see how D.B. could hate the Army and war and all so much and still like a phony like that. (Salinger

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