Jessica M’s review of J.D.Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye was an astoundingmisrepresentation of a novel that has remained in the forefront ofliterature for years. It is painfully obvious from her summation of thebook that she did not understand its point. She criticizes theprotagonist for being “whiny and repetitive,” but the novelmust have had some effect on her since her statements themselves arenothing but whiny and repetitive. She fails to make any validcriticisms.
Holden Caufield, though flawed, is a protagonist mostteens can identify with if they manage to see through his rash actions.Sure, most teens do not proposition prostitutes or wander around NewYork City, but they definitely pressure each other and run away fromtheir problems. Adolescents certainly have trouble dealing with changesthey face as they enter adulthood. Obviously not every teenager goes toboarding school or escapes to the city as Holden does, but we all reactto changes in ways that are not always appropriate. If you have notacted rashly out of inexperience or lived the consequences of poordecisions, then I suppose there is no way you can understand thisnovel.
For those who have not read the book, I hope you disregardMiss M’s review. A person who does not understand a piece ofliterature should not express views that may color those of people whohave not read the book. If you are going to criticize something, pleaseback up your arguments with something a bit more substantial thancomments like “Holden is a whiny, immature brat.”Apparently, the reviewer has been lucky never to have been scared andconfused by the changes most adolescents face.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.