The Catcher in the Rye is written in a subjective style from the point of view of its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, following his exact thought process (a writing style known as stream of consciousness). There is flow in the seemingly disjointed ideas and episodes; for example, as Holden sits in a chair in his dorm, minor events such as picking up a book or looking at a table, unfold into discussions about experiences. Critical reviews agree that the novel accurately reflected the teenage colloquial speech of the time.
Holden is six feet two and has grown six and a half inches in the last year. He's a heavy smoker and wears his hair in a crew cut. People mistake him for being 13 even though he's 16 and has a headful of gray hair. Holden's appearance is that of an adolescent who's not just too young or too old for his age, but somehow both at once. Holden has just failed out of Pencey Prep. The only subject he passed was English, as he reads a lot on his own. The novel follows Holden's last few days at Pencey and the events that happen afterward, which lead to his hospitalization and psychoanalysis. The Catcher in the Rye is the story of Holden Caulfield during these crucial days, as told by Holden.
Holden is alienated from society. He feels that no one understands him and that everyone is a "phony". He thinks that no one is honest, and everybody wants to be something else. He feels that the only person who understands him is Phoebe. He does not have relationships with girls, or anyone because he feels that he is the only genuine person in the world..
Holden has to deal with loss. He loses his brother, Allie, to leukemia, and feels a tremendous loss. Allie wrote poems on an old baseball glove, and Holden cherishes this, and speaks about it in great detail. His brother D.B. lives in Hollywood, and is a screenwriter. Holden regards him as a "phony" and has little contact with him. He regards D.B. as a figurative prostitute, who writes only to make money,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document