I am sure you remember Holden Caulfield, the angsty, depressed 1950s teenager who you read about in your 10th grade English class. But did you like Holden, or did you hate him? “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger is a well-known novel that has been read in English classes across America since the 1950s. Holden Caulfield is the main character in this novel, but it is controversial whether or not his story is still relevant to society today. Ultimately, Holden is more relevant to teenagers in 2018 than they are willing to believe.
Many teenagers do not recognize how similar they are to Holden because Holden’s problems hit them “too close to home”. Holden expresses similar emotions to teens today, but they are so alike that teens don’t want to face them. Patrick Welsh, an English teacher and writer, puts it this way:
“In an age where so many teens are being diagnosed with depression and come to school juiced up on Adderall or chilled out with Zoloft or other psychotropic drugs, the fact that Holden is struggling on his own with depression can be unsettling.” (Welsh).
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The depression and anxiety Holden displays throughout his story is very similar to the...
Nice. There are few stories today that are as real and down-to-earth as Holden’s. Welsh writes, “For kids who do love ‘The Catcher’, I think the secret lies in the authenticity of Holden’s voice” (Welsh). Many kids today who like Holden’s story appreciate how authentic and genuine he is. He is not afraid to say how he feels about people and give the reader his full opinion, and that is a very admirable trait in a main character. In a world full of lies and ‘fake news’, it is comforting to read a book with a personality as matter-of-fact as Holden’s. Can you provide an example of ‘authentic’ Holden from the...
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