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The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

August 08, 2021 - 238 words - 2 mins Found a typo? Edit me
novel fiction

It was originally intended for adults but is often read by adolescents for its themes of angst, alienation, and as a critique on superficiality in society.

The novel is a deeper reflection of Salinger’s own youth, his complicated relationship with growing up and the generational trauma affected by World War II.

Undeniably autobiographical, Salinger drew on his personal experiences fighting in the war and his New York creating the character of Holden Caulfield.

The novel’s protagonist has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, connection, sex, and depression.

From chapter 22:

— “You don’t like anything that’s happening.” It made me even more depressed when she said that.

— “Yes I do. Yes I do. Sure I do. Don’t say that. Why the hell do you say that?”

— “Because you don’t. You don’t like any schools. You don’t like a million things. You don’t.”

— “I do! That’s where you’re wrong—that’s exactly where you’re wrong! Why the hell do you have to say that?” I said. Boy, was she depressing me.

— “Because you don’t,” she said. “Name one thing.”

— “One thing? One thing I like?” I said. “Okay.”

The trouble was, I couldn’t concentrate too hot. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate.

Summary

220 pages