Titel: The Catcher in the Rye
Autor: J.D. Salinger
Publisher: Penguin Books
Do I feel like murdering someone like John Lennon or JFK right now?
To be honest, not really. But according to some famous assassins ‘Catcher in the Rye’ was the trigger to murder someone.
So besides that ‘Catcher in the Rye’ potently transforms you into a killer, is it still worthwhile to read the book?
Yes it is. This book reveals the mind and thoughts of an adolescent, who finds himself having much trouble to be as society wants him to be. The most fascinating is that all his decisions and thoughts are understandable and recognizable, what regularly forces you to think about your own life.
Holden Caulfield describes a short period of time, of about a week. He does it with an autobiographic style and he tends to describe all his thoughts and feelings whenever he can. The story starts when Holden, an adolescent who thinks most guys are ‘phony’ or ‘crumby’, was again expelled from a school in which he couldn’t fit. But Holden doesn’t care so much, like he doesn’t care for the most things in life. He only cares about a few things, especially his little sister, who is in elementary school, and his little brother, who passed away a couple of years ago. Holden decides to return to his hometown NYC, because he has no reasons to stay any longer on his former school. Throughout the fact that he doesn’t want to face his parents he wanders through New York, sleeping in cheap hotels and other questionable places. His urge to do things drives him to a lot of different places where he meets lots of different people. Using conversations and his own thoughts, Holden tries to understand himself and the world. He asks multiple times where the ducks go when the lagoon freezes.
He struggles a lot with becoming an adult. In an conversation with his little sister he says that the only thing he wants to be is a Catcher who prevents all the children of falling off a cliff when they are playing in the Rye.
Salinger really succeeds in making the reader understand that every person is unique and that maybe Holden’s problems are not caused by Holden himself, because he can’t adapt himself to society, but that society is to blame.
The book really makes you doubt what is important in life. The metaphors are brilliant, ‘how can you prevent that you become a fish in the lagoon forced to stay there, instead of being a duck, free to go wherever you want.’
In this book it’s not the story that’s exceptional, but the way the story reveals the mind of someone who could have been you.