The Catcher In the Rye, a well-known novel, by J.D Salinger, . Is is the story of a young boy experiencing the difficulties of letting go of innocence, or in other words childhood, while entering the world of adulthood. In this book, 16-year-old Holden Caulfield is going through some rough patches in his life. He had previously been expelled from two schools before attending the prestigious Pency Prep. Holden discovers he flunked four out of five classes in the semester. Eventually he finds out he is being expelled from Pency Prep as well. Holden doesn’t seem to mind all the failures around him, and how it is affecting him;, all he seems to care about is the opposite sex. His mind seems to be on one girl he met one summer, Jane Gallagher. The existence of her leads him to leave Pency three days before he was supposed to. He left because him and his roommate, Stradlater got in a fight about Jane Gallagher. After Holden leaves, he struggles with adulthood on his journey. Holden wants to be “The Catcher In the Rye” for children, to prevent them from the harsh reality the world has to offer.     Holden faces a lot of problems by having a hard time believing he is almost an adult. In the book he calls himself a child, and mentions how he has always acted “childish.” Though he refers to himself as a child, it is a different story when it comes to girls. Throughout the book, Holden meets many women, and he of course tries to get with them by lying about his age. More specifically, stating he is older than he looks. “Boy!” I said. I also say “Boy!” quite a lot. Partly because I have a lousy vocabulary and partly because I act quite young for my age sometimes. I was sixteen then, and I’m seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I’m about thirteen. It’s really ironic, because I’m six foot two and a half and I have gray hair. I really do…” (Salinger 13).  This shows that Holden tries to hide behind his own words; by saying that his personality is rather childish, but his physical appearance shows he is more mature. Though the world thinks he looks old enough to be an adult, he feels he is still a child on the inside, showcasing two conflicting sides.         When Holden stays at the Edmont Hotel, he meets an elevator operator, Maurice. Maurice offers to send a prostitute to Holden’s room for five dollars, and of course he does not refuse. “Hey, how old are you, anyways?” “Me? Twenty-two.” “Like fun you are.” “It was a funny thing to say. It sounded like a real kid. You’d think a prostitute and all would say “Like hell you are” or “Cut the crap” instead of “Like fun you are.”” (Salinger 123). The quote tells us what Holden is thinking. When the prostitute, Sunny, walks in. Holden thinks it is strange that Sunny won’t curse, because she is a prostitute. Since she is a prostitute who won’t say “hell” or “crap,” Holden still sees a lingering innocence in her. Which makes him realize that she still holds that “childish” aura, and that if he were to have sex with Sunny, he would be taking her innocence away, along with his. So, he decides that he won’t have sex with her. Time goes on, as much as it feels like Holden doesn’t want it to. With time things change, people change, and surroundings change, whether it’s for better or for worse. One thing that seems to stay consistent or the same throughout time in Holden’s life is museums. “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish…Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you’d be so much olderor anything…You’d have an overcoat on this time. Or that kid that was your partner in line last time had got scarlet fever and you’d have a new partner…I mean you’d be different in some way – I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure I’d feel like it.” (Salinger 157). He describes the museum as this place that never changes, while everything around it changes with time. Holden connects this to his little nine year old sister, Phoebe. Holden knows that every time Phoebe will come back to this museum, she will change, everything in her life will change except this museum. For Holden the museum is like a safe spot from his childhood. A place he can always come back to without anything changing, but himself. From failing most subjects in all schools, and running away. It seems like Holden wants to escape school in general. He doesn’t ever seem interested about the future. He said it himself, he isn’t quite dumb, he just doesn’t try much. “I said no, there wouldn’t be marvelous places to go to after I went to college and all. Open your ears. It’d be entirely different. We’d have to go downstairs in elevators with suitcases and stuff…And I’d be working in some office, making a lot of dough, and riding to work in cabs…There’s always a dumb horse race, and some dame breaking a bottle over a ship…It wouldn’t be the same at all. You don’t see what I mean at all.” (Salinger 172). This shows that Holden isn’t fond of entering adulthood. The work lifestyle doesn’t apply to him; he doesn’t want to have responsibilities. To Holden it’s coming fast, his childhood years are slowly slipping away as he changes and grows older. Holden wants to escape “the system” before he ends up like just another “phony” concerned with money and parties.         At the end, Holden finally realized that he will eventually have to “grow up” and be an adult at some point. Though it may be coming sooner than he had expected, he’ll have no choice but to face it. He describes adulthood jumping off of a cliff. It’s so sudden, you don’t expect it, but it happens as much as you try to hold on. Inevitably you’ll slip into the unknown. “I thought it was ‘If a body catch a body,'” I said. “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.” (Salinger 224). This shows how childhood is important to everyone. Your childhood shapes you into the person you become. All the moments in your childhood, are built up to prepare you for the future. This quote shows that Holden wants children to hold on to their childhood, and he’d do anything to keep them from falling off the cliff. Most importantly, Holden wants to hold on to his childhood for as long as he can, before he has to fall.         In conclusion, this book was very well-written, and had an amazing detailed description of a young adult’s mind. The author included all the confusion and uncertainty that comes with coming of age. Overall, this book describes how important youth is, and sometimes it can be hard to let go of it, but with time everything will fall into place.

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