Summer Reading Essay – The Catcher in the Rye
The author of The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, did not fulfill his obligation to me of lifting my heart and reminding me of human glories. It was difficult to be uplifted by this book because the author made Holden, the protagonist, suffer through various adversities such as being kicked out of four private schools and even losing a brother through Leukemia. Each hardship that Holden faces adds a reason to why Holden and his actions do not exemplify human glories. Throughout the story, Holden mostly complains or talks down on everyone he encounters in his life. Holden always found a way to point out every single one of one’s flaws. An example of Holden’s harshness was when he said to Stradlater, “That’s just the trouble with all you morons. You never want to discuss anything. That’s the way you can always tell a moron” (Salinger 58). This quote shows Holden’s potential in being offensive even to his own friend. This shows Holden’s pessimistic views on the world and even the people that care about him.
Along with being pessimistic, Holden was a very selfish boy. He did things to have pity from others or he always had to get what he wanted. When Stradlater came home from a date with Jane, Holden’s crush, Holden consistently kept bothering Stradlater with questions relating to Jane, which really was not his business. Since Stradlater did not answer his questions about what he did with Jane in Ed Banky’s car, Holden threw a fit like an immature child. It got to the point where he even fought Stradlater because he was so frustrated.
Overall, Salinger did not do a good job of helping me understand the “problems of the human heart in conflict”. Although Holden was pessimistic, selfish, and nosy, it only revealed to me that in reality, mishaps like these occur often and if you do not do any of the hard work to get what you want, then you will end up with nothing. Holden was too blind to see that everyone in his...
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