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The Hardships of Growing Up

  • Date Submitted: 01/27/2010 11:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.3 
  • Words: 1563
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One of the most difficult transitions a person must experience in his or her life is the transition from childhood to adulthood. For many adolescents, the responsibilities adulthood entails often overshadow the vast carefree, innocent wonderland that is childhood. On the other hand, many teens find the adult world intriguing, with its many opportunities and freedoms. Yet, these young adults are often disappointed finding the trials associated with \"growing up\" confusing. Although they are full of potential, teens are repeatedly overlooked by adults because of their lack of experience. Both The Catcher in the Rye and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz centre on youth who are distressed by the various hardships of growing up.

The fundamental theme of The Catcher in the Rye is the pain of growing up. Throughout the book, readers get a chance to see the world through the eyes of a troubled teenager, Holden Caulfield. According to his view, there is no worse fate than to grow up. To a boy like Holden Caulfield, childhood is a paradise that should last forever. Holden feels it is his duty to preserve the innocence of children, by acting as a “Catcher in the Rye.” “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.” [p.173] Even more so, he hopes the world will stay static. The dioramas in the Museum of Natural History that Caulfield is fond of, exemplify this, by being perfectly still and unchanging. Holden Caulfield believes that by allowing children to stay in a state of purity, he can prevent children from facing the phony world of adults.

Phoniness, according to Holden, is the grown-ups’ biggest failure; it is this that Holden tries to shield kids from. In Holden’s opinion, adults only act based on what others impose on them and not on...

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