Relationships: An Absolute Necessity - Using Catcher and the Rye, Inside the World of Teenagers, and Man's Search for Meaning

Essay by poonjabbyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

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In Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, he states, "The salvation of man is through love and in love." Adolescence. It is defined as the period from puberty to adulthood in human beings. Scholars have a particular interest in the adolescence because "it is the way station between the dependency of childhood and the independence of adulthood. The adolescence provides a period for change, experimentation, and preparation for what it so to come." (Adams & Gullotta, 1980, p.5) Lon Woodbury, an educational consultant, concluded that "success in every human activity eventually depends on relationships." (Retrieved from on March 24, 2005) Humans want to be happy and loved (Retrieved from on March 30, 2005); they are made to be in relationship with one another. All daily interactions accentuate the necessity of relationships. By analysing the adolescence experience in Salinger's Catcher in the Rye and Kostash's No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girls, one may conclude that a universal theme during adolescence is a desire for relationships.

Particularly, all adolescents encounter the following issues that emphasize the necessity of relationships: self-identity, peer relations, and familial relations. "A relationship is a pervading and changing mystery...brutal or lovely, the mystery waits for people wherever they go, whatever extreme they run to." (Retrieved from on April 18, 2005)

Adolescents are primarily affected by self-identity. "The most important relationship one will ever have will be the one with themselves." (Kirberger, 1999, p.2) Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in the Catcher in the Rye, experiences personal issues such as depression, sadness, and solitude resulting from a deficiency of relationship, not only with others, but with himself. He has been expelled from four schools, he exhibits complete apathy towards his future, and he is unable to interact. (Retrieved from on March 5,