Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.
The Catcher in the Rye
Ever since he debuted in the literary world with "The Catcher in the Rye" Holden Caulfied is synonymous with 'cynical adolescent'. Holden Caulfied is the character brought to life through literature by J.D. Salinger. But what does it mean to be a catcher in the rye? Well Caulfield deciphers it as the act of catching the running kids in the rye field before they fall off the cliff situated at the end of the field.
Holden is a troubled adolescent who smokes a lot and flunks at prep school and eventually leaves school in the middle of the night. Having spent two cold and lonely days in New York City, he allows himself to be caught by a person whose childish innocence gives him hope. This is actually a narration of a couple of days of his sixteenth year.
The book is fun to read despite being a tale of teenage angst or depression. Sangler's writing is brilliant with life-like characters and the book needs no artifice. Anyone who has reached the age of sixteen would be able to identify with the story as Holden has bits and pieces of all of us. The close connectivity of real life situations and the book has contributed to its rising popularity; making 'The Catcher in the Rye' one of the most loved and lasting works in world literature.
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