Catcher in the Rye Manifesto

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Catcher In The Rye is my favorite book. I have read it more than any other work of literature, and Im a literature major. I have read classic upon classic, but no other work has captured me the way Catcher has managed to. In the light of J.D. Salingers death many of my friends have, upon my recommendation, endeavored to read the famous work. To my dismay, most have returned with the response, I dont get it, or I cant say I liked it, and perhaps I should have given them forewarning. Catcher is not in any way a feel good book. The result after reading it is not a sense of satisfaction. In fact, it leaves the reader feeling somewhat the same way the main character, Holden, ends up, which is a bit broken and confused, unsure of the future and what to make of it all. In the end Holden is in a Psychiatric facility where a psychoanalyst asks him if hes going to apply himself when he goes back to school. Holdens response is, Its such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean how do you know what youre going to do until you do it This single line sums up the entire feel of the book. Holden doesnt know what he will do, what he wants to do, he is perpetually at a loss to his place in the world. The story does not follow the traditional fiction arch either. This arch seeks to move a character or situation from one state to another - to effect change, basically where the story builds to a dramatic high note and resolves in a nice tidy bow. Actually, the story is remarkably one note. It is not really a story in any The Art of Fiction sort of way it is what I would call simply...a moment. It is a tale of a sixteen-year-old boy, who despite his status being white, male, strait, sophisticated, and rich, does not fit into the 1950s world around him. From the very beginning Holden is cast as the wanderer, the loner, an isolated individual. He has been kicked out of yet another school, and does not yet belong at home. The setting of the story is what happens when a young boy is...
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