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Catcher In the Rye

             In order for any association to be functional, the novices in the group must shift from careless children to responsible leaders. The link between the two mentioned extremes is labeled adolescence. During this confusing time, individuals must come to terms with the realities of the given world. In place of the rites of passage, modern man has expected the novice to naturally determine the right time for the transformation. The Initiation Process is a trend of typical symptoms and stages a novice goes through. The system is accurate to some degree but not all novices fit it in the same way or at the same rate. This truth becomes more apparent when a novice struggles through the system. Catcher in the Rye and Red Badge of Courage both depict less than a one-week period in which the protagonist demonstrates rapid growth and the baggage of internal and external conflict. The three stages of the Initiation Process-- Separation, Transition and Incorporation fit each of the books conveniently with only minor disagreements. Although the novices are being initiated into two different worlds- Holden, the adult world, and Henry realm of the experienced soldier, the process can be distorted to allow for a non- adolescent initiate. Progressing parallel to the initiation process, Henry and Holden transfer from juvenile to mature behavior with different rates and struggles, as demonstrated by their unique actions and thoughts at various checkpoints throughout Red Badge of Courage and Catcher in the Rye.
             Each of the novices struggle psychologically during their novel’s separation stage as their location exacerbates their insecure conditions; however, Holden’s stubbornness creates a treacherous cycle in which the initiate is unresponsive to guidance. During the Separation Stage the first signs of change, subtle or obvious, begin to occur; the extent of the symptoms of this stage tends to be accurate indicators of the effort the Separation Stage will entail.