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Emotional Issues Of The Teens In Catcher In The Rye And Rebel Without A Cause

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Teenagers deal with lots of emotional issues. In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and in Rebel Without a Cause by Nicholas Ray, both main characters Jim Stark and Holden Caulfield deal with so many emotional issues. Both characters deal with emotional issues as teenagers; Holden distances himself from his relationships while Jim tries to build relationships.

Jim would do anything to have a group of friends. In the beginning of the film it shows Jim is found intoxicated. His whole family shows up at the police station and begin to defend and rationalize Jim’s actions. However, this leads Jim to have a lack of guidance or good principle from his family. Jim is constantly looking for structure, in this he seeks structures from a bad group of friends. Through looking for validation, this leads Jims to make bad decisions. Jim is a new kid at Dawson High and doesn’t have any friends. The school went on a class field trip and Jim followed. Jim made noises making everyone think he’s the cool kid. He’s just trying to fit in and make new friends. Everyone looked and one of the popular kids thought he was pretty funny and wanted to attack Jim. But Buzz however, wanted to know what this kid was about so he and Jim fought with knives and got Jim a couple of times. Through his lack of guidance, Jim will do anything to feel like he belongs. He wants to belong because he doesn’t get support at home or structure. In the end, Jim’s lack of guidance, leads him to make bad choices.

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Holden isolates himself from society. Throughout the book, he isolates himself from adults and friends by identifying them as phony. When explaining to Mr. Spencer why he left one of the schools he said, “One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills because I was surrounded by phonies” (Salinger 19). He doesn’t want to connect with his fellow classmates because they experienced what Allie couldn’t. He thinks kids are pure because Allie’s death let him never experienced anything from the adult world. He isolates himself to try to preserve his innocence and like kids. Other times he isolated people from his life when he is trying to call someone. At Penn Station, he says, “I went to the phone booth… but as soon as I was inside I couldn’t think of anyone to call up” (Salinger 66). Holden craves social interactions, but through his brother’s death he isolates himself. His isolation from the world doesn’t make him happy.

So when he doesn’t call someone like Sally, he chooses to preserve the valuable innocent memories he had with her. From the trauma, Holden creates walls to preserve his innocence or change to avoid pain, rejection, or any strong negative feelings.

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Emotional Issues Of The Teens In Catcher In The Rye And Rebel Without A Cause. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from
“Emotional Issues Of The Teens In Catcher In The Rye And Rebel Without A Cause.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022,
Emotional Issues Of The Teens In Catcher In The Rye And Rebel Without A Cause. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Dec. 2023].
Emotional Issues Of The Teens In Catcher In The Rye And Rebel Without A Cause [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2023 Dec 4]. Available from:
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