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Catcher in the Rye in Class Essay In the novel The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D Salinger, Holden Caulfield the main character in is struggling with growing up. While living in Manhattan for a couple of days he goes through an emotional journey where the options are grow up or “disappear”. The key moments to Holden’s coming of age journey was his moments of separation, exploration, and his self-realization. As soon as the book starts we are given evidence that Holden constantly isolates himself from society. As soon as the book starts Holden tells us that he is watching the school football’s team game by himself “practically the whole school was there except me “(2). This shows how he chooses himself to not partake in society’s activities. Another experiencing in the novel that shows Holden separation from society is him leaving Pency Prep early instead of staying until the Christmas break. Holden constantly separates himself from the adult world because he is not mature enough to understand why adult’s act the way they do so instead he just calls everything they do “phony”. We see the word “phony” used often in the novel to show Holden’s hatred toward everything to do with adults. A large bulk of the novel was following Holden’s exploration of New York as a free man. He begins to have his first experience with the adult world. This stage of his journey was beneficial to his coming of age journey as he begins to realize the level of maturity you need to exist in the adult world. In the novel he has this experience where he feels like he was disappearing. “I had this feeling that I’d never get to the other side of the street. I thought I’d just go down, down, down, and nobody’d ever see me again” (197). Everyone around Holden was “coming of age” except him so this gives him the feeling as he is almost disappearing from being relevant. The final stage of his coming of age was his epiphany (self-realization) at the carousal. He realized here that he can’t be “The Catcher in The Rye” and can’t catch kids before they slip into adulthood. This is where he also realized that he had to grow up once and for all. This shocked him so much he ended up having a nervous breakdown. “I felt so damn happy all of a sudden “(213). Holden’s coming of age began to come to an end while he watched Phoebe ride as he gained enlightenment he began to be extremely happy because he now knew what to do to lead a normal life. In conclusion Holden’s coming of age journey was a long and tedious journey there were three main stages of his journey. The separation running from Pency, the exploration in New York, and lastly the self-realization portion near the end of the novel. Without these three steps happening Holden could’ve experienced a horrible mental, physical, financial, emotional fall that he may never could have recovered from just as Mr. Antolini predicted.
Work Cited * Salinger, J.D, The Catcher in the Rye Little, Brown and Co 1951, Print

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