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Holden Caufield and his shitty coping mechanisms

Uploaded by nines on Dec 19, 2013

Diana {Insert my last name here}
12 November 2012
English III

Holden’s Desire to Escape his Problems and How It Reflects His State Of Mind
In the animal kingdom, the average lifespan rarely passes 10 years. There are few exceptions to this, one being the lifespan of humans. The current average life span for humans is between 70 and 80 years. In both the animal kingdom and in modern society, maturity is meant to come quickly if you are to survive. However, Holden Caulfield from The Catcher In the Rye by J. D. Salinger cannot accept that maturing is a natural and necessary part of every person’s life. Holden uses physical distance, judgmental tendencies, and comfort escapism to protect the innocence of himself and others, which are reflective of his desire to mentally escape his problems.

Holden copes with his problems by running away from places and starting anew. An example of this would be when he left Pencey. Holden had many issues with school there, but the simplest is that he could not grow up like the rest of his school. Holden did not have the responsibility of handling grades, social changes, and everything else that an average 17-year-old would experience. After getting kicked out for failing almost every subject, Holden had a few more days before he had to leave school; with nothing to do, he decides to go to New York for a few days. “...I yelled at the top of my goddamn voice ‘Sleep tight, ya morons!’ I’ll bet I woke up every bastard on the whole floor. Then I got the hell out.” (Salinger 54). Holden escaped from Pencey, all of the people whom he disliked and all of the problems he was convinced it caused him, so he would not have to deal with them. Another example of how Holden does this is when he addresses his idea to run away with Sally. He thinks this because Holden strongly dislikes what he thinks society is, which in turn causes him to hate living. This idea leads to Holden conceptualizing the idea of running away to Vermont or Massachusetts with Sally. “It’s beautiful as hell up here, it really is.” (Salinger 132). Up north, everything is pristine and disattached from society, which acts as an asylum for holden. Holden wants to go to this place because he does not want to have to face his problems, and for Holden,...

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Uploaded by:   nines

Date:   12/19/2013

Category:   The Catcher In The Rye

Length:   5 pages (1,172 words)

Views:   3137

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