The Catcher In The Rye Essay Throughout the book, The Catcher In the Rye, the theme that I saw reoccurring in the novel was the painfulness of growing up. In the book there are many cases of Holden Caulfield trying to resist growing. He does not want to grow up because he’s afraid of the unknown, or what’s coming next in his life. In fact his main goal is to resist maturing. He is scared of the unknown and cannot handle things that are very complicated. He likes it when things are very simple and easily understandable.
In the book there are many examples of the theme of the painfulness of growing up in the book. “I went down by a different staircase, and I saw another “Fuck you” on the wall. I tried to rub it off with my hand again, but this one was scratched on, with a knife or something. It wouldn’t come off. Its hopeless, anyway. If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn’t rub out even half the “Fuck you” signs in the world. Its impossible. ” (Salinger 201). This quote shows that Holden wants to protect kids.
He is mad that he is not able to stop the kids from getting their innocence taken away. He is also mad because he knows that it is impossible to keep from kids getting their innocence taken away. “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff-I mean if theyre running and they don’t look where theyre going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all id do all day. Id just be the catcher in the rye and all”(Salinger 98). This shows that Holden wants to save him and other people from growing up one day.
Holden is scared of growing up, and also scared of the unknown. He feels like he has a duty to save other people from growing up and maturing. “Mothers are all slightly insane”(Salinger 176), this shows Holdens belief that all adults are in one way or another phony. This is why he is scared to grow up. He does not want to grow up and become phony like all the adults. The quote also shows his viepoint on all adults. He believes that once you mature you are phony, and he does his best to make sure that he does not become phony.
As you can see the theme of the painfulness of growing up is very prevalent throughout The Catcher In The Rye. Holden is very afraid of growing up and is also afraid of the unknown. He also feels that it is his duty to protect others and himself from growing up. Holden believes that every adult is phony and his goal to keep everyone from growing up and becoming phony. The theme of the painfulness of growing up is very important in the book. Works Cited Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Little Brown Books, New York: 1945