Maturation of individuals can often be impacted negatively if an individual has been through a bad experience as an adolescent. For example, in the novel, Holden repeatedly lies and takes advantage of others for his own benefit. For instance, this is shown when Holden meets up with one of his old student advisors at a previous boarding school he had went to.
Carl Luce is a few years older than Holden and he is actually someone that Holden likes and admires. Holden’s immaturity is shown when he begins asking Carl personal questions about his sex life. Then, Holden asks “No kidding, how’s your sex life?” (Salinger, 160). Carl then began to get fed up with Holden’s immaturity and then states, “When in hell are you going to grow up?” (Salinger, 161).
Moreover, this entire situation shows that Holden’s lack of maturity is in direct correlation with the death of his brother. After his brother died, it is evident that Holden became an entirely different person. For example, in his mind his is still an innocent child, but on the outside he’s a mature young adult. Also, it is evident that Holden never came to terms with his brothers death because of the way he treats his little sister Phoebe. Therefore, Holden wasn’t able to mature properly because of the tragic loss of his brother for several significant reasons. In today’s time, it is extremely common for individuals who have lost a sibling to suffer from emotional immaturity. For example, according to the Institute of Medicine Committee for the Study of Health Consequences of the Stress of Bereavement there is a long lasting effect when an individual loses a sibling.
For example, “Studies of adults with depression, frequently reveal childhood bereavement, suggesting that such loss may render a person emotionally vulnerable for life…this special vulnerability of children is attributed to developmental immaturity” (Krupnick).
The long lasting effect of losing a sibling impacted Holden’s mental health and his behavior towards others. Therefore, an individual’s maturation can be impacted negatively if the individual has been through a traumatic experience as an adolescent.