Review of "The Catcher in the Rye"

Topics: J. D. Salinger, Short story, The Catcher in the Rye Pages: 5 (1772 words) Published: April 23, 2013
TThe Catcher In The Rye
By J.D Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye was written by J.D salinger and published by Little, Brown and Company in 1951. Originally intended for adults, the novel has in time become very popular with younger readers as well. His portrayl of alienation and difficulties with growing up has both been very influentional and sparked debate. The novel remains well-recognized selling more than 250 000 copies a year.

Jerome David or “J.D.” Salinger was born on January 1th 1919. He proved to be an aspiring author as early as in secondary school when he began to write short stories. Several of his stories were published early in the 1940s before he left to serve in WWII. The critically acclaimed story “A Perfect Day for Banana Fish” was published just after the war in The New Yorker, which became the arena for most of his following work. When «The Catcher in the Rye» hit the shelves in 1951, it was an immidiate sucess. Having an aversion for all the fame the novel created, Salinger became reclusive, perhaps like his most famous characher Holden Caulfield from «The Catcher in the Rye». This resulted in less frequent published work from Salinger. Throughout his career he has published five books, four of which are short story collections. In addition to this, he has published fiveteen other stories. His last published work," Hapworth 16, 1924", appeared in The New Yorker in 1965. All his works indicate Salinger's quest for happiness and comprehension of the world, efforts to seperate religion from the materialism and egoism in our society he views as corrups and finally his voulntary retreat from society. Later in the 1980s he proved yet again his distaste for fame when he sued a biographer who intended to publish a biography including letters from his ex-lover and daughter. In Search of J.D. Salinger: A Writing Life was finally published in 1988 despite his efforts to terminate the publication. He gave his last interview early in 1980 and has since then strived to live a quiet life. Salinger died in his home in 2010 of natural reasons.

«The Catcher in the Rye» is a psychological novel, therefore the actual plot plays a lesser role than the psychological analysis behind it. The book begins with an introduction of the seventeen year old narrator and protagonist Holden Caulfield. As readers, we are directly addressed as he shares his story about events that took place over a two day period before he ended up in an assumed mental asylum. The story is constructed as a long flashback; it comes clear early in the novel that he has recently been expelled from yet another school, his career at Penecy prep has abruptly ended due to his refusal to apply himself and failing all his courses except English. The story begins at this exclusive private boarding school, which Holden regard ass «phony». Through encounters with his roommate and neighbor in halls, Ackley, he recalls memories of his late brother and the mysterious Jane whom he seems to have great affection for, as opposed to pretty much everything else. Surprised after hearing that his roomate is on a date with Jane, he sits down and reminices about her while doing Stradlaters homework. Finally when Stradlater has returned from his date Holden starts to fight him when he refuses to tell whether or not he had sex with Jane. He decides to flee the school immidiatly and takes off to New York City. Due to Holden's anxiety of his mothers reaction to(wards?) his expulsion, he decides to roam around alone in the city rather than return to his home earlier than he is supposed to. Holden is desperatly lonley and uses every opporunity he comes across to interact with other people, both acquaintances and complete strangers. No matter who he talks to, he still finds himself alone and in his longing to talk to his sister, Pheobe, he goes home in the middle of the night to see her. Holden cannot stay there for long and calls up an old english teacher, Mr Antolini,...
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