The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye tells the story of a teenager named Holden Caulfield who just got expelled from yet another school. It’s basically about the 2 days he spent in NYC before he returns home to face his family. This book is not big on the plot though, it’s really more about his attitudes and the signs of his mental disintegration.

I like this book because there is a bit of “Holden” in all of us. By that I don’t mean swearing and underachieving, but the fact that we want to be sincere in an insincere world, or the fact that we want to escape from the path that was laid out before us. What I like about him is that he didn’t compromise like the others. Instead of relying on them, he tries to make the change himself. He’s not perfect either. For example, he is hypocritical at times which he realizes but doesn’t know what to do about it. Now I am not saying that Holden is right and the society is wrong—but I do think that Holden is far more human than many of us. That’s what I like about him.

It’s hard to not think about Holden at times because he is so complex. Maybe Holden is crazy. Or maybe it’s the rest of the society that’s crazy. Maybe he doesn’t like anything. Or just maybe, he only likes the things that are truly worth liking. Nevertheless, this book is really relatable because everyone will go through a stage where you are stuck in between childhood and adulthood just like Holden at some point in their life. Salinger has done a great job describing the feelings of going into the society, finding out that it’s not what you expected, and eventually accepting the difference between your expectations and the reality of it.

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3 responses to “The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

  1. This book is one of my favorites. One of the things that I like about Holden is that he really doesn’t learn his lesson, and comes out of the book as confused as he was when it began, which is far more true to life than stories where the main character emerges almost as a different person.

  2. Catcher In The Rye is one of my favourite reads, too. Even though it’s quite depressing, the story is realistic, which many of us can relate to. Thanks for the review – always interesting to read another person’s take on this great novel.

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