The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and “Novel” by Arthur Rimbaud both have
striking similarities and connections that pertain to an overall idea of coming of age. The
narrator of the poem and Holden from Catcher describe various experiences, vividly
showing their points of view and inner feelings of these experiences. But especially
similar is how they are not exactly walking on the path of maturity. People tend to take a
liking to the period of coming of age, which greatly affects them in terms of
progressively becoming mature.
Both Holden and the narrator of “Novel” have a dislike in reaching adulthood, and almost a fear of maturing. We can see that the narrator of the poem wants to hold on to his teenage life when he ends and starts the poem saying, “We aren’t serious when we’re seventeen”, where he means he’s enjoying this time and is not serious, and he wants to stay like that for a while because he said the same thing at the end of the poem. Although the narrator dislikes the idea of going into adulthood, he knows it is going happen. This poem uses imagery to describe many things. “The wind laden with sounds-the town isn’t far-has the smell of grapevines and beer…”; here the narrator says that town, or adulthood is close by, which can relate to wine and beer which can be considered for adults. Holden fears adulthood throughout his narration, he doesn’t point it out but we can see that he has no plan’s for the future and he’s not very mature himself. When he says, “Sex is something I just don’t understand. I swear to God I don’t” (p.63), we can see that he kind of doesn’t want to know about sex, that it would lead him on to bigger things, such as adulthood.
Love and romance is a factor that speeds up the process of becoming mature. Romance plays a very important role in the lives of Holden and the narrator of “Novel”, really the only thing that makes them the least bit mature. In Catcher, Holden...