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How Holden Caulfield Teenagers Differ Today

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The Catcher in the Rye and Holden Caulfield do not resonate with the majority of today’s teenagers. It is very hard for teenagers to completely isolate themselves from everyone in their lives. They are just too connected to social media to break away from their friends and society like Holden did. Teenagers these days are also less likely to skip class because of the pressure on them to go to college. Holden did not have this pressure because he did not care one bit about society and what he was ‘supposed’ to do.

The Catcher in the Rye is a very hard book for teenagers these days to relate with. Most teenagers are connected on social media such as twitter, instagram, and facebook making it hard for them to be their own person. In the book, Holden Caulfield lost all connection with his friends and family. For modern day teens, this would be hard because their friends would text, tweet, or call them to figure out where they are. Holden did not have this issue because he was unable to carry around a device that connected him to people that weren’t with him. Unless the teenager completely ditched their devices, they could not disappear for a week without people figuring out where he was at..

Holden Caulfield was his own person. He didn’t go out of his way to get people to like him and he didn’t care what they thought of him (J.D. Salinger). This makes it very hard for teenagers to connect with him because they are constantly changing themselves to be liked or accepted. Holden Caulfield also rebelled by skipping classes and leaving his school to roam around the streets of New York. Teenagers these days could not get away with that. They are too worried about college and their grades (Patrick Welsh) to skip class.

Some people will say that even with all the technology, some of today’s teens are still able to connect with Holden Caulfield. There are people out there that do not have cell phones or internet connection. The only way they communicate is when they see people in person. This would make it easier for a teen to isolate themselves and go off on their own. They could avoid all contact with people they knew unless they wanted to make contact with them. While this may be true for a small number of teenagers, the majority of teens cannot connect with Holden which makes the plot of the book irrelevant to them. The teens that can connect with Holden still are unable to disconnect to society because of modern technology and morals.

The Catcher in the Rye does not resonate with most teenagers these days. Teens see Holden Caulfield as stupid and crazy because they can not seem to understand what it feels like to do whatever you want. Teenagers won’t skip school and they won’t say or do things that might make people dislike them. People try so hard to make others like them that it is a crazy concept for someone, like Holden, to do whatever they want despite how other people/ society react. All teenagers could learn from Holden and realize how distracted they are from technology and other people. Everyone just needs to get away from the technology and see where they are and what’s going on so that they can learn to be themselves like Holden. Once Teens achieve this, they will be able to understand Holden Caulfield and the point of The Catcher in the Rye.

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How Holden Caulfield Teenagers Differ Today. (2019, April 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from
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