Physical Changes In Holden's Adulthood

Words: 1384
Pages: 6

In The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden’s social interactions revolve around his insatiable urge to be viewed as a mature adult: leading to alterations in his behavior and proclaimed age. Holden is a sixteen-year-old teenager with an extremely delicate mental state. Holden is dismissed from his boarding school due to poor grades, leading to an adventure through new york city. Holden visits many bars and establishments in search of alcohol and woman to seduce, both of which he perceives as mature. Holden's changes in behavior are demonstrated through attempts to order scotch and sodas, set up dates with women, and behave in an adult manner. These changes in behavior often have an adverse effect, either causing him to feel embarrassed due to rejection or placing him in physical danger. While Holden does admit that he occasionally acts like a child, his constant effort for people to view him as a mature adult through his focus on sexual activity, alcohol consumption, and other adult activities consistently create emotional problems that hurt his mental and physical health. These problems, ranging from physical impairment to emotional neglect, often further damage Holden’s immensely erratic emotional state.
Holden’s efforts to order alcohol are often met with resistance, leading to embarrassment and emotional degradation. As Holden is sitting in the Lavender Room near several women he wants to impress, he attempts to order alcohol to assert
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While relaxing at The Wicker bar, Holden decides to confront a waiter about an attractive singer that he observed.
Waiter. ‘It's highly probable,’ he said.
Holden. Witty bastard. All I ever meet is witty bastards. ‘Listen. Give her my compliments. Ask her if that goddam waiter gave her my message, willya?'
Waiter. 'Why don't you go home, Mac? How old are you, anyway?'
Holden. 'Eighty-six. Listen. Give her my compliments.