Reviewed by Cynthia Yerbich
The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye is written by J. D. Salinger published by Little, Brown and Company in July 16, 1951. The genre is literary realism. This book is written from the view point of a boy named Holden Caulfield in some sort of rehabilitation center in the 1950s. The entire book is written in the timespan of a few days and is all about a boy named Holden who has been kicked out of his fourth school and trying to figure out his purpose in life and the reader really gets to understand him and his personality through his ways of understanding people and his look on life. The book follows him through a few excursions of pure confusion and self-loneliness in trying to understand himself.
My favorite character is this book is Holden, partly because the entire book is him and his thoughts but also because he is so interesting and real, he doesn’t put on a “fake face” as he would call phony people. He doesn’t change his personality to satisfy anyone which is something to admire. My favorite part of the book is after a whole day of Holden feeling depressed at everything he sees and looking at the world as a cynical awful place where no good is possible, he goes to the zoo with his younger sister and as he watches her go round and round on a carousel he gets overwhelmed with emotion. He finds happiness is his sister and sees the world as a better place by having his own little epiphany of everything that he used to think about life is wrong and that he can live and be happy when he is with people he truly cares about.
The conflict through The Catcher in the Rye is Holden’s outlook on the world. He doesn’t understand that there is so much to live for when you peruse yourself and put yourself out there in experiences and new opportunities. He doesn’t have any motivation to be anything or anyone. He needed a realization that life is worth so much more than the upsetting things he sees every day. He is constantly focusing on the sadder more disgusting thing around him when he should be seeing the beauty in the world. He realizes this when he experiences his sister in a childlike adolescence activity, it makes him feel as if things will be alright and he has a chance in this world.
The theme in The Catcher in the Rye is the painfulness of growing up. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye Holden is mocking adults calling them phony’s and not taking any of them seriously. Holden has a deep want to stay a child which is seeded from his brother’s death. Once Allie died his childhood took a turn and he wants to go back to the days of playing with his brother in the ball fields and not to be going to some private school with a bunch of people of which he doesn’t appreciate or connect with on any level. He wants those moments back, which effects his daily life and it makes him pained to see himself is a position of having to make life decisions when he really just wants to still be a child. “Grand. There's a word I really hate. It's a phony. I could puke every time I hear it.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye. This shows Holden’s childlike personality in how he constantly accuses people of being phony for any reason possible.
I would rate in book 5 stars because people can relate to Holden and his fears. Especially as a young adult having to make a life for themselves all of a sudden, it is scary. I enjoyed this book because Holden’s thoughts are connected to so many others through his pet peeves, his worries, and his pleasures. I would recommend this book because it shows you a young person’s thought process when they are going through what everyone goes through , which is the want to not get old . I would recommend you read “Nine Stories” and “Franny and Zooey” which are written by J. D. Salinger. Thank you for listening to my take on The Catcher in the Rye, which is a magnificent book that will teach you about life’s meaning through a young man’s eyes.