Catcher In The Rye Often in literature characters, through different experiences, undergo changes which enable them to grow. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the author J.D. Salinger portrays Holden as a confused adolecent. The author conveys Holdens inner growth through specific incidents. When Holden is expelled from Pencey he grows and developes a new attitude towards his family.
After meeting with a prostitute Holden becomes more mature when he realizes that sex does not fill the gaps of lonliness. Finally when Holden is reunited with his sister Phoebe he realizes that the innocence of children can not be preserved forever. Holden experienced inner growth after he is expelled from Pencey, he meets a prostitue and is reunited with his sister Phoebe. Holdens poor marks and attendence have lead him to being expelled from Pencey. Pencey, Holden felt was crammed with phonies.
” It was one of the worst schools I ever went to , it was full of phonies.” (67) Holden was always depressed and distressed at Pencey. ” I felt like committing suiside.” (107) . Without any sense of direction in his life Holden seeks advice from from one of his old teachers, Mr. Spencer. During his visit with his former teacher , Holden is told by Mr. Spencer that ” Life is a game boy. Life is a game one plays according to the rules.” (8).
Holden feels that life is a game only if you are on the side where all the hotshots are, otherwise there is no game. Holdens lonliness forces him to cotact past friends. After meeting with a few of his old friends Holden is left feeling unfulfilled. Holden decides to return home to be with his family when he recalls memories of Phoebe. Phoebe was always very devotedly attached to Holden.
“She likes me a lot . I mean shes quite fond of me. She really is. Anyway, I couldnt get that off my mind, so finally what I figured what Id do, Id sneak home to see her, in case I died and all.” (156). Holden comes to understand the importance of family and achieves inner growth after he is expelled from Pencey.
Holden also experiences inner growth as a result of hiw encounter with a prostitute. Holden feels that when it comes to girls he can never find what he is looking for. Still a virgin Holden explains to us that in most cases the girl is the one who does not want to have sex. Though in Holdens case, he is the one opposed to having sex. When Holden is asked if he would like a prostitute he does not hestitate to accept the offer.
Holden admitts that having sex with a prostitute would be a good time to practice before marriage. ” In a way, thats why I sort of wanted to get some practice in case I ever get married.” (93). Holden waited nervously yet anxiously for the prostitute to arrive. However when she finally arrived Holden comes to realize that the prostitute is all about buisness. Holden is completely turned off when she takes off her clothes and utters ” Lets go, hey. I havent got all day.” (96). Unexpectingly Holden requests tha prositute to leave.
” The trouble was I just didnt want to do it. I felt more depressed than sexy , if you want to know the truth.” (86). Holden was looking for someone or something to fill his gap of lonliness. Through Holdens experience with the prostitute he realized that sex wasnt the way to go about filling his gap. This situation caused Holden to grow and this changed his attitude towards sex. Another individual who helped Holden grow was his sister Phoebe. When Holden is reunited with his sister he displays his yearing to preserve childrens innocence.
” Some bodyd written f**k on the wall. It damn near drove me crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them all cock-eyed naturally what it meant and how theyd all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days.” (201). Holden is obviously upset when he reads the slag written on the wall. It seemed as if Holden wanted to protect Phoebe from adulthood. He wanted Phoebe to remain young and innocent forever.
However near the end of the novel Holden reaches at turning point in his life when he witnsses Phoebe on the carousel. Holden comes to understnad that he can not protect children forever. They must grow and experience the world.Witneesing all of the coruption and evil in the world molds children and teaches them to cope with life. Holden now realizes that he too must grow by coping with the side of life that he does not like. After Holden is expellrd from Pencey , meets a prostitute amd is reunited with his sister Phoebe he undergoes changes which enable him to experience inner growth.
Holden has no sense of direction after he is expelled from Pencey. His aimless wandering and seeking of companionship finally leads him back to his family. Holden experienced inner groth when he gains a new undrstanding of how imporatant family is. Meeting witha prositute leaves Holden feeling unfulfilled. Holden grows and as a result realizes that sex does not compensate for companionship. Finally when Holden is reunited with Phoebe he learns that he can not preserve the innocence of children forever .
Holdens new inner growth enables him to realize that he too must deal with the side of life he does not prefer. Growth and change are both an inevitable part of lifes long journey.