When you’re a kid, life is suppose to be easy and you shouldn't have to worry about the troubles of the world. In the case of J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, a young boy named Holden was forced to grow up too soon resulting in him realizing all the hardships that come with life. Becoming so mature at a young age because of his brother’s death, Holden finds himself tasked with preserving other's innocence before the true horror can change them. Salinger depicts adolescence as a turbulent time, reinforcing that teenagers who disdain the phony adult world may have anxiety over growing up, resulting in poor decisions.
Holden's fear of growing up causes him to lie for his benefit to shield himself from the outside world. Holden visits a teacher who is very sick but more worried about Holden then himself. Holden can’t stand to see him sick so he lies about having to go somewhere to get away from the situation. Holden says, “So when I told old Spencer I had to go to the gym to get my equipment and stuff, that was a sheer lie. I don’t even keep my goddamn equipment in the gym”(19). Holden caughted in many awkward situations like this where he wants to run away from his problems. In the end, he always ends up lying to get out of them. This situation is different than others because Holden even if he won't admit it feels bad for this teacher and cares about him. When Spencer started reading Holdens essay it made him mad because he knew in the moment it’s his fault he gets kicked out of all these schools and when times get rough in life Holden knows he runs away from problems like talking to Spencer. Another situation where Holden lies to conceal his problems and emotions is when he called a stripper to his room. Holden going back to New York after being kicked out of yet another school is faced with feeling lonely. To fill the void of not being able to contact any of his family Holden decides he wants company in the form of a stripper. When the stripper gets to his room Holden becomes scared of losing his innocents and lies to get out of the situation. Holden tells the stripper, “ ‘Don’t you feel like talking for a while?’. I asked her. It was a childish thing to say, but I was feeling so goddamn peculiar”(106). Again when Holden is shown aspects of being an adult, in this case being hooking up with a stripper, he runs away from the reality of life. When Hoden ordered the stripper he wasn’t thinking about what he was going to have to do but more about him feeling lonely and wanting to act like an adult. When Holden tries to get out of getting with the stripper it showed how even if he wants to pretend to be older than he is when it comes to reality he's always going to be scared of growing up. If Holden had gone through with the stripper he would've had to accept he had lost a part of his innocents which he believes is the one thing he is tasked with saving in life. Besides this time Holden lied to get out of a situation Holden also lied to a girl he was dancing within the club. While Holden was in a club in New York a pretty girl and her 2 friends were sitting at a table next to him. To dance with the pretty girl he had to dance with all them. To get out of dancing with the “ugly” girl Holden tells her, “ The only way I could even half enjoy myself dragging her around was if I amused myself a little. So I told her I just saw Gary Cooper, the movie star on the other side of the floor”(83). By Holden telling this girl he saw Gary Cooper he is lying again to get out of a situation he doesn’t want to be in. Holden lies so much in his life that it's so easy for him now to get out of any situation he doesn’t want to be in. Although Holden is still an innocent kid he knows how to use lies to get what he wants. In this case, he wanted to stop dancing with this girl and by saying one thing he achieved that. Holden likes to run away from things in life and this is another time he does that. By lying Holden is proving to himself that he isn’t ready for the challenges that come with becoming an adult and dealing with challenges in life.