The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, describes a period of time in a young
boys life. This boy is repeatedly gets kicked out of schools and he does again in the
beginning of the book. He leaves a few days before Christmas vacation starts, before his
parents get notice that he has gotten kicked out of his school. He doesent want to go
home early, so he just goes back to Manhattan and tries to survive on his own.
Holden Caulfield is a 16 year old boy. One character trait he has is insecurity. He
seems insecure due to the fact that he repeats himself often. It seems as though he
feels people aren’t listening to him. He is also very lonely. He states that when one of
his friends, Luce, he meets to have a few drinks with, says he has to leave. Holden is also
unstable. Throughout the book, his mental, physical and emotional state decreases. He
gets beat up, goes through a breakdown, and gets very sick. Another trait Holden has is
his insistence to care for the vonerable. Examples of this is the way he cares for and
worries about Pheobe, his old friend Jane Gallager, all young children, and the ducks in
the pond at Central Park.
One theme of this book could be you can’t have control over everything. Holden
wants everything to stay the same always. One example of that is when he talks about
The Museum of Natural History. He also wants to be able to protect everyone, especially
anything or anyone vonerable. This is shown when he says to his sister Pheobe that he
wants to be the catcher in the rye when she asks him what he wants to do in his life.
Holden realizes that he can’t have control over everything when his younger sister tells
him to shut up. He realizes that things have changed and she has gotten older and
changed herself, and he can’t make anything go back to the way it used to be.
I felt that The Catcher in the Rye was a very good book. One thing that was
confusing was how the main character seems to make a complete circle with his life. In
the end of the book, it seems as though he is in the same position the he was in in the
beginning of the book. I enjoyed this book especially because I could identify with many
of the main characters thoughts and feelings about life, people etc.