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How does J.D Salinger present the problems of teenagers in the first chapters of Catcher in the Rye?

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Introduction

How does J.D Salinger present the problems of teenagers in the first chapters of Catcher in the Rye? Catcher in the Rye is set in 1950's America based around a teenage boy by the name of Holden Caulfield. Holden is a troubled yet rebellious teenager and is shown to have many stereotypically teenage problems such as school, social life and the opposite sex. The first and most notable instance we see of Holden's teenage troubles is at the start of chapter two; this is when he explains to the reader about him leaving Pencey, although he is reluctant to give us the real reasons why. ...read more.

Middle

This emphasises Holden's role as a rebellious teenager, defying the educational system, showing that a number of problems within his life can be linked or even in some cases blamed on school. Another typical teenage problem in some cases, making friends, can be difficult for Holden Caulfield as is shown in the scenes in which he speaks of Ackley's 'disgusting' habits and his fight with Stradlater. These two events sum up Holden's relationship and 'friendships' with his peers, one which is often phoney, on both halves. ...read more.

Conclusion

An extra problem which Holden faces through out the novel is one with the opposite sex. The first example of this is when he finds out that Stradlater is seeing his old next door neighbour, Jane. Holden is angry with Stradlater about not telling him anything about his time with Jane, or not even mentioning him to her. This is what results in his and Stradlater's 'fight'. Overall J.D Salinger presents the problems of teenagers to the audience through Holden as being small things from the outside but things that can really get to Holden eventually. This idea is summed up in the fight as a result of the tension between him and Stradlater. ...read more.

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