Catcher in the Rye and Growing Up Disillusioned
The Catcher in the Rye tells the story of Holden Caulfield as he travels in New York City after he flunked out of his private school. He didn’t fail because he was dumb, he just can’t stand to be around “phonies.” This theme of the validity of people carries through J.D. Salinger’s timeless novel. The book focuses on a 16-year old boy desires to find a meaning for his life and for something that makes him happy. Holden is very critical of his society with his cynical personality. He finds many people to show off what they have without having any true substance to their personality. He doesn’t feel like he fits in and is trying to figure himself out while everyone else around him already has a plan. Due to this, Salinger makes it extremely easy to relate to this book. At some point in time, everyone has felt lost in their life, unaware of what the next move they should make. Since Holden is trying to figure out what he should do, it makes it very easy for the reader to slip into Holden and make him part of their own personality. It forces the reader to consider what consequences, either good or bad, their choices have.
I would recommend this story to anybody, especially to older children. It is a good book to read because Salinger is able to capture what a teenager really feels and thinks about life. He also is able to pull on emotion. The novel makes the reader reflect on the life they are living and truly question what makes them happy. I personally enjoyed this book so much because of how blunt and straight to the point is is. It does not waste time in trying to go around sensitive subjects. It's ironic how the story features such mature themes but is able to pull them off with childhood innocence. It is done in a tasteful way that shows class and maturity. The Catcher in the Rye is known for its controversy but in today's day and age, it isn't that shocking anymore. This is a book everyone should read, regardless of age. Even if someone isn't contemplating their life choices, it is simply a good story. The story flows very smoothly and is an easy read. Students especially should read this book as it gives an accurate summary of growing up and its struggles while having enough humor and wit to make growing up seem plausible.