Coming of Age: Catcher in the Rye and Boyz N the Hood (1993)

JD Salinger uses different language techniques, mainly through Holden’s languge, to explore coming of age in Catcher in the rye. In the beginning of the book Holden is already shown running away from realty. When he says “I didn’t know why I was running, I just felt like it” it shows us that Holden is clueless and afraid. In “Boyz n the Hood” John Singleton uses Tre’s relationships, mainly with his father, to explore coming of age, as well as similies and metaphors.
In “Catcher in the Rye”, JD Salinger uses the narrative style of writing to help us relate to Holden, writing the novel from Holden’s point of view asking us to believe that Holden’s telling his story to a doctor or counselor. Holden constantly uses phrases like “I really was” as if he wants us to believe him. Another main expression “that kills me” is used to indicate that something amuses him. These and other expressions like “phony” give the impression of an individual speech style.
In “Boyz n the Hood” the film is constantly taken at a mid angle shot, helping us relate to Tre. Tre’s father Furious is instrumental in Tre coming of age by teaching him morals and responsibility. This shows us the importance of having a father figure in life. Singleton uses sex as a metaphor for coming of age, with Tre constantly saying he is afraid to have sex and afraid to become a father. This symbolizes that Tre is afraid to mature and come of age. Like Singleton, Salinger also uses sex to symbolize Holden’s fear of coming of age as Holden is afraid sex will “take away his innocence”.
Both characters have major influences in coming of age whether it is a person, a moment or something completely different. In “Catcher In The Rye” both Physical & Emotional relationships offer Holden an opportunity to break from his isolated shell. They are also representative of what he fears most about coming of age, complexity, unpredictability, and potential for conflict and change. Phoebe is one of Holden’s main influences in...