Not everybody is born with the same opportunities that other people are born with. Some people have more opportunities than other people, some are less fortunate than others. At the end of the day it all matters about the heart and how you see different things. Holden is not born with the best opportunities. Holden failed 4 out of 5 classes excluding English, got kicked out of Pency and likes to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. He is a lonely boy who doesn’t really have anyone to relate to. He wants to try and talk to people but he is never successful due to his judgemental views. In J.D Salinger’s Catcher in Rye it portrays Holden’s inability to grow up and enter the adult world because of Allie’s death as well as his love for children and his childhood mindset.
Holden is a very lonely person. After Allie’s death he really has not been himself. He is trying to act as a different person. Holden has been going through lots during his life. Allie’s death has had a huge effect on Holden growing out of his child type mindset. Holden had such a strong connection to his brother. They both loved each other, played games with each other.
Holden also has this type of connection with his sister Phoebe, who is 10 years old. As he has been lonely his whole life they really brought him some joy and they were really the only people he had some type of connection with. “You take adults, they look lousy when they’re asleep and they have their mouths way open, but kids don’t. Kids look all right. They can even spit all over the pillow and they still look all right” (Salinger 85). Holden just sees kids as innocent and that is what Holden likes about them. Holden doesn’t like having all these different responsibilities that adults have like family, money, etc. Holden sees the world differently than someone else around his age.
Holden’s childhood mindset has interfered with his sexual activity. Holden is 16 years old and is going through puberty. Holden does have ideas of sex but his mindset stops him from doing it. During the book he has many encounters of this happening but the outcome is not what he expected. “The trouble with me is, I stop. Most guys don’t. I can’t help it. You never know whether they really want you to stop, or whether they’re just scared as hell, or whether they’re just telling you to stop so that if you do go through with it, the blame will be on you, not them.”(Salinger 50). Holden is trying to do what he wants but he just can’t do it.
Holden really enjoys children. I know this might sound weird but he really adores children and the fact that they don’t have to worry about anything. He likes the fact that they have a protection of innocence. Holden encountered this little boy walking down the street singing “If a body catches a body comin thro the rye”. This makes Holden cheer up and he has a big smile on his face. “It made me feel better. It made me feel not so depressed anymore”. (62) He wants to be a child since they are capable of doing what they want and not getting in any trouble.
People could say that one thing that does hinder Holden from growing up is human interactions. Holden doesn’t like to talk to people unless he knows them. Yet, this is true but I don’t think it’s the main thing that is stopping him from growing up. Holden has had many interactions with people through the book. He has experiences with Stradlader and Ackley when the whole fight broke down. When he goes with the prostitute Sunny and how he was close to having sexual intercouse with her. The way he is interacting with different people affects him in what he is doing and what is affecting him from growing up. This has a positive and negative say to it. This is just Holden’s personality. He loves to act differently. Since he is in a mental hospital there could be a high possibility that he also has a type of mental disorder which makes him act the way he is acting.
Holden’s childhood mindset has the biggest impact that makes him not want to grow up and become an adult. He is in a bubble basically the outside of the bubble is Holden and his body and actions and inside the bubble is his thoughts, emotions and when it pops he makes his emotions into actions. Many different aspects also affect him from growing up but his childhood mindset has the most effect on it.