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The Catcher in the Rye | Summary


“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know if where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like…but I don’t feel like going into it if you want to know the truth”(Salinger, 1). This is how The Catcher in the Rye introduces the reader to the main character, Holden Caulfield. He is a teenager who is seemingly utterly bored and depressed by his current life as a boarding school student. Deciding he wants out of his current predicament, Holden ambles from place to place, observing “phony” people living their “phony lives” and occasionally, he reflects on his own unhappiness with a certain kind of detachment. From interactions with his boarding school peers to an unexpected conversation with a prostitute to a disturbing encounter with an ex-teacher of his to a reunion with his sister Phoebe, Holden Caulfield is the ultimate anti-hero who is both perplexing and simple at the same time and this is perhaps why the ending of the story is just as unexpected as the beginning.

Review: This book, in my opinion, should receive 4 out of 5 stars. In a world where blockbuster movies reign supreme, The Catcher in the Rye is a bit simple for today’s jaded high schoolers, but the reason it continues to be popular with students and teachers alike is because of its relatability. Most people can relate to Holden with his feelings of being an outsider, especially teenagers. Although it is written nearly over 50 years ago, the language, plot, and characters are particularly relatable which adds to the novel’s high quality as well. Finally, the book receives a score of 4 out of 5 due to its overall impact on society. This is one of the biggest books in the United States and has remained an important part of American literature since its publication in 1951. It is a beloved masterpiece and no matter how many years pass, it will continue to keep its hold on those who love reading and those who love to teach.

Salinger, J. D. The catcher in the rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 19911951. Print.

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