Once is a generation, a book is written that transcends reality and humanity .The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, combines a unique style, controversial theme, and thought provoking main character in this perceptive study of the human condition. This postwar novel protests against the loss of innocence and hypocrisy of the era and is the definitive coming of age novel. Salinger constructs a shocking reality, populated by phonies' and bursting with falsities- a reality that is all too real.
The Catcher in the Rye is the story of a young man's understanding of the world he lives in, and the things he encounters (Lomazoff 3). This work is similar to other famous and influential works of the same nature. For example, Maxwell Geismar sums up the novel as " an eminently readable and quotable [novel] in its tragicomic narrative of preadolescent revolt. Compact, taut, and colorful, the first half presents in brief compass all then petty horrors, the banalities, the final mediocrity of the American prep school" (Geismar 195). Holden can not understand the purgatory of Pency prep, and futilely escapes from one dark world into darker world of New York City. The second half of the novel raises the intriguing questions and incorporates the deeper meaning of the work (Geismar). Holden sits on the cusp of adulthood, tethering dangerously close to his fate and reality and The Catcher in the Rye is the story of his journey into the adult world. In addition, this novel is similar to other famous works of the same nature. Salinger emulates elements of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Like Huck Finn, The Catcher in the Rye is the story of a young man's journey into adulthood. Holden journeys into the human condition, Huck likewise seeks out human nature. Huck, like Holden, hates hypocrisy, and fells the need to search for integrity. Similarly, both works start out the same way. Their... [continues]
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