Moody Teenagers and The Catcher in the Rye
In “The Catcher in the Rye,” JD Salinger writes through the eyes of a judgmental 16-year-old boy, Holden Caulfield, who has been expelled from yet another prep school, Percy Prep. It walks us through his twisted view on the world during the days he spends in New York in procrastination of facing his parents. In his dialogue with a psychoanalysis, which is the narration of the book, Holden reveals his ingrained distrust and unique point of view of the people in society.
The importance and success of this novel comes from the critiques of society within the book that no one in the time of its release was pointing out. Holden comments on the common-placeness of rape, prostitution, and most focused on lack of care of corruption of innocents. Bringing these topics on the table went against the common ideas of the perfect family in a perfect clean-cut society of American in the 1940-1950’s.
Towards the end, it clearly shows how Holden isn’t the only one not ignoring the problems in society and through help from and old similar teacher and Holden’s little sister, he accepts the issues in society. After the book, it is unclear if he will take action and apply himself and his point of view but in the real world at least, Holden’s story brought focus to the issues in society most chose to ignore.
Personally, I have respect for the novel but “The Catcher in the Rye” was my favorite book. Holden’s hypocrisy and pessimistic, depressing point of view constantly left me upset and infuriated. However, as has been pointed out to me several times, my negative opinion is could simply be because I see a little bit of Holden and his judgmental perspective in myself. The points he makes hit too close to home. Whether I believe this is true or not I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to everyone I can. It is the formation of new opinions on the topics presented by JD Salinger that creates the deep connection we all have to “The Catcher in the Rye.”