The Catcher in the Rye Essay (Great or Not)
Is this Great or just Good?
Literature, among other things way for people to lose themselves in an entertaining story about a subject that require little thinking and raises very few questions, or it can be the complete opposite, which is a really badly told story with a very intriguing concept of discussion. But Great Literature requires both parts to inform the audience of a touchy, edgy, or tender subject or at least brings it to their attention, and does this in an exciting entertaining way so that the reader wants to know what happens next and gives them with something to take away from the experience. It remains up to the writer to skillfully blend these two elements before his or her work can be classified as Great Literature and survive the stand the test of time. William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain and Harper Lee are just a few writers, who have been able to combine Good story with a good concept, but the question still remains, can J.D Salinger stand next to these greats based on his novel, The Catcher in the Rye because if or when it is deemed as Great Literature, it has a certain level of expectation for everyone who picks it up. Question that arise are will it be able to stand the test of time? Will later generations consider it as Great Literature? J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye should not be considered as Great Literature because while having a great story concept was unable to give and exiting well rounded story. In The Catcher in the Rye J.D Salinger was able to create an intriguing concept for with the reader was to explore. The story is about a troubled rich kid, named Holden Caulfield. He is troubled about the sudden death of his brother, Allie. Holden throughout the story indulges himself in many vices namely to help himself easy his pain. In Chapter Fourteen Holden does both at the same time. “I sat in a chair of a while and smoked a couple of cigarettes…….Boy I felt miserable………. What is did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie.” This is a teenage boy, who is around sixteen, lost in a vast world away from all that is comfortable to him, because his whole world was destroyed and fell apart when his brother died unannounced. A very touchy subject, Salinger was able to inform people of misunderstanding of a depressed teen by giving the added stresses of life, and how easily vices could be obtained by anyone. The Catcher in the Rye has one part of the Great Literature requirements, but not the other one which is a compelling Story, which could be very easily mistaken as Great Literature, but think about it this way when any one picks up a fictional piece of literature, they want to be entertained something The Catcher in the Rye lacks. The Catcher in the Rye is a one dimensional story. It is told from a very limited point of view, more or less one point which is Holden’s. Not to say that if the book is told in the first person it cannot be deemed Great Literature. Salinger not only made the story in first person, but also made Holden very unreliable like in this part of Chapter five “You should’ve seen these steaks. They were these little hard, dry jobs that you could hardly even cut.” The reader would think that these were really bad steaks, but never in the book does it even give the reader little outside knowledge that maybe the steaks were good, expect the Holden was some spoiled rich kid who was used to better. Now the reader in forced to believe everything Holden says which might end up causing the reader to lose out on the point. But again not to say that an unreliable narrator cannot be considered as great literature. Take Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart for example because throughout the whole story the reader believes that the man in the story is being stalked or he fears something might happening to him. In the story he again and again tells the reader that “You...
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