The Catcher in the Rye is about a sixteen year old boy named Holden Caulfield who studies at Pencey Preparatory School. Before the end of the first trimester, Holden gets suspended because of his bad grades and his uninterested attitude. He gets in a fight with his roommate, who is dating a girl with whom Holden used to be in love. He’s still obsessed with her, and wants to call her every day. He gets so upset that he decides to leave Pencey straight away. He is sick of everyone and thinks they are ‘sunovabitches’ or ‘phony’s’.
After a night at a bar downtown, Holden feels depressed so he decides to visit his sister Phoebe. He sneaks into his parents’ house. He feels much better after seeing her. Throughout the entire book he is very positive about her. He talks about how she’s a lot younger but already really smart, nice and funny.
Holden is very depressed and criticizes everything. In the beginning of the book you are wondering why he acts like this, but soon you find out that he is struggling with the death of his brother. He tells a lot of memories about his brother. Holden doesn’t know how to handle the loss.
At one point in the book he talks about a rye where kids are playing and running around, on top of a cliff. He wants to stop the kids from falling off the cliff. This refers to one of the main themes of the book; growing up.
I think the main character, Holden Caulfield, is very interesting and as I read the book, it was fascinating to get inside his head, to experience his weird way of thinking. The use of informality is effective. It makes you relate to the characters and makes them seem realistic. I liked the way it’s written, even though sometimes it was hard to understand because of Holden’s adapted vocabulary. It is funny to see that the book is written in 1951 and even then there was already a kind of slang language.
Overall, the book just works, Holden’s way of thinking is really weird, but you get dragged into his head. This makes you think like Holden does. I think because of this, the book will stay in my mind for a long time.