Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

January 14, 2011
By Ursula Hirschi BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Ursula Hirschi BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I was walking down the hall the day before winter break. The day before I had
asked my teacher to recommend a book to me. As I walked into my English class,
he handed me a worn copy of Catcher in the Rye. I stared skeptically at the stained
cover, and dropped the book into my backpack. Three days later I still had not
opened the book. On the fifth day I decided to begin reading, but I didn’t like it, so
I put it down. My mother reprimanded me and I picked it up and finished it. By
the end, I was beginning to like it. The more I thought about it, the more it grew
on me. It’s a classic that can be hard to get into, but is a good read and one I would
recommend to all teenagers. You should read Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger,
because it is a book that most young adults can relate to.

Set in the 1950’s, Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J.D. Salinger. The book begins with
Holden Caulfield, the main character, escaping his boarding school. Holden runs
from his dependence on his parents, his childhood, and his school. He runs away to
New York City, where his family lives. He however does not go home; instead, he
checks into a hotel and goes to a club. He meets some women there and dances with
one of them, but then they leave, also leaving their bill for Holden to pay. He then
goes to another club, but is disgusted by the other customers, calling them “phony”.
Holden hires a prostitute, but then sends her away because he feels “peculiar”,
claiming he recently had an operation and was not fully recovered. Holden goes
to sleep quite exhausted from his day. The next day, he calls another girl, Sally,
and arranges to see a show with her. He wants to be with people but he doesn’t
know how. After the show, Holden tries to persuade Sally to run away with him. He
struggles with his conflicting feelings about the wealthy world of appearances he
lives in. Will Holden run away, or will he back to the comfort of his family and go to
yet another school? To find out how this fantastic book ends, you’ll have to read it

The writing style is engaging. The story is narrated in second person, as if Holden
is having a conversation with you. Holden has a very cynical and judgmental voice,
which definitely gives the book character. Holden also side tracks from the story
occasionally, and tells a story, about how his brother works at Hollywood, for
example. This is both positive and negative for the reader. It is helpful because you
get some insight on Holden’s life previous to the start of the book, but this style can
be maddening because it becomes harder to follow the story line.

Two of the main themes of Catcher in the Rye, are independence and dependence.
I say independence and dependence because the story is about Holden trying to
break away from his childhood, but also wanting something familiar like family.
Holden doesn’t understand that it’s okay to depend on your family, and doesn’t
mean you can’t take of your self. He wants company but he also wants to be grown
up and independent.

The only character we see continuously throughout the whole book is Holden.
Holden has a very strong personality and swears a lot. In my opinion, Holden is a
good person who refuses to think before he acts and makes bad choices. When he
makes bad choices he gets into bad situations.

I would recommend this book to almost anyone. It is an especially good book for
teenagers and young adults. The story is about coming of age and making positive
decisions. I would not recommend this to someone who is particularly sensitive to
harsh language. In conclusion, Catcher in the Rye is a good book for teenagers and
adults alike.

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