Days filled with lonesomeness and bitterness. Not the funniest book you can imagine (though occasionally filled with some humour) it is a very good book to read because it gives you something to think about. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ should not only be considered as a good novel depicting a young adult’s life, but also as a voice for teenagers for several generations.
The Catcher in the Rye depicts a young adult named Holden Caulfield as it’s protagonist and during the story you get to watch Holden struggle in a world filled with so called ‘Phonies’. You see him alienate himself from the world and become so lonely and bitter you feel sorry for him, but you also see him return to sanity which on the other hand makes you very happy. This al happens in a period of three days and in my opinion that makes the book feel more real, because you watch Holden for only three days you get to relate to him more because you follow his every action.
The way a lot of things return in the book is very beautiful, for example the red hunting hat which in the end goes to Phoebe, Holden’s sister, and the question about the ducks in the pond which keeps appearing. This makes it really worth it to pay close attention to the book, even though it isn’t a real page-turner
“I was surrounded by phonies…They were coming in the goddam window.”
Is a quote from Holden in The Catcher in the Rye and ‘Phonie’ is a word which is used in the book very often. It’s one of the many ways in which the book affected todays everyday language. For example the saying ‘Screw up’ was made popular by J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.
The Catcher in the Rye had a lot influence on the world since it was written and this makes it even more interesting to read and analyse it. It has been the most censored, and the second most thought book at public schools at the same time. Teachers were fired and rehired because of it and the book made the way people think about young adults change a lot. Also several shootings have been linked to the book for example the shooting of John Lennon. His assassin was found holding a copy of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ with the words “This is my statement” written in them. The assassin even tried to change his name into Holden Caulfield. I think this makes the book even more appealing because it’s interesting to find out why someone would commit such a cruelty in the name of this book.
Though it’s concept was written during the second world war and J.D. Salinger published it in 1951 the book still remains very relevant. The Catcher in the Rye was the first book to acknowledge and to address the social problems teenagers have to face. Depression, loneliness and alienation are always going to be there and for me the brilliance of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ also lies in the way it never gets old.
If it would be up to me everybody would have to read this book once in their life, not only because it is written so beautifully or because the story is so good but also just because of its significance in the history of recent literature. The Catcher in the Rye is for me the ultimate example of the power a single novel can have. Salinger’s letters helped alter the course of history and that is something very special.