I shook my head. I shake my head quite a lot. “Boy!” I said. I also say “Boy!” quite a lot. Partly because I have a lousy vocabulary and partly because I act quite young for my age sometimes. I was sixteen then, and I’m seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I’m about thirteen. It’s really ironical, because I’m six foot two and a half and I have gray hair. I really do. The one side of my head – the right side – is full of millions of gray hairs. I’ve had them ever since I was a kid. And yet I still act sometimes like I was only about twelve. Everybody says that, especially my father. It’s partly true, too, but it isn’t all true. People always think something’s all true. I don’t give a damn, except that I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older than I am – I really do – but people never notice it. People never notice anything.

J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye. Chapter 2. Holden has been expelled from his fourth school for failure to earn passing grades in four out of five classes. His favorite teacher Mr. Spencer, instead of wishing him a pleasant good-bye, gives him the standard lecture from an adult to a teenage slacker. Holden is disappointed. His defensiveness is linked to his deep anxieties about identity – in this case whether he is every inch an adult. He isn’t.