The Catcher In the Rye will Change your Life

 Have you ever lost hope in humanity or felt like giving up on everything? This book is for the dark thinkers and philosophers and for the people who one time in their life have questioned humanity.. If you want to see things in different perspectives and see the world in darker eyes  The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallenger   is the book for you, it is  a remarkable piece of literature; that details the life of a teenager who rejects society’s norms to grow up. It was published in 1951. It explores the themes of the pain of growing up, the phoniness of adulthood,and appearances. Every year highschool freshmans are assigned this novel to read and analyze which may sound tedious but there’s a reason why The Catcher in the Rye is a classic and why high schoolers read it but if that didn’t sell you why not have already read the Catcher in the Rye and not have to read in school that’s less work for you. Let me tell you why I fell in love with the Catcher of  the Rye. The Catcher of the Rye is unlike other classics, its meaning isn’t covered in fancy and tricky vocabulary, it’s  simple to  understand and even though it was published in 1951 the issues still to this day affect us in 2022. 

 The novel takes place in the 1950s in New York, December. The main character and narrator is 16 year old Holden Caulfeild. Holden has just been kicked out of his fourth prep school because of his failing grades and lack of effort in school.The novel details two days in the life of Holden after he decides to leave school earlier than planned. Disillusioned Holden searches for truth and self discovery and rails against the phonies of the adult world. Holden does this by going to New York and staying in a hotel without telling his parents and meeting people from the past and getting beaten up,  assaulted and being exposed to dangerous people. Readers learn about Holden’s mindset and dark past and Holden’s character becomes understandable and even relatable. 

    The reason why I love this book is because I picked this book to read for my summer reading at random not knowing anything about it other than it was a classic. When I started reading the book I didn’t understand Holden. I presumed  he was a privileged moody teen however I was missing the point of his character and why exactly he was so bitter. Holden is the example of the moody teenager but this book explains why moody teens exist and goes deeper giving the moody teen dimension. The reason why Holden is so bitter is because Holden has witnessed so many traumatic events in his life and has seen no justice for those events  One of them spoiler alert is the reason why Holden has given up on trying in school. When Holden attended a school called Elkton Hill. A student there called James castle was bullied by a group of boys and unspeakable things were done to him so James committed sucidce by jumping out of the school window. The boys were only expelled and never charged.

   In school Holden is surrounded by ignorant boys, one of them called Stradlater who doesn’t take no for an answer with his dates. But not only has Holden lost any faith in school because people like this aren’t punished. Holden is exposed to malicious adults. One of them who was one of Holden’s teachers, Antolini who while Holden is sleeping inappropriately touches and strokes Holden’s hair. Antolini was one of the only adults Holden trusted but Antolini’s suspicious actions made Holden and readers understand why Holden has lost hope in humanity at such a young age.  The Catcher in the Rye is a phenomenal book that every high school for many years after will talk about so join in and learn about the complex character Holden Caulfeild. Through learning from this character you might learn something about yourself.

Chanel Estrada

Stevenson School – DMSF Class of 2016

Image by on Flickr

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