“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”
The Catcher in the Rye is a colorful rant cum novel written from the perspective of a spoiled, overprivileged, ne’er-do-well teenager, called Holden Caulfield, as he drifts from one fiasco to the next in his turbulent adolescent life. Set in the late 1940s- early 1950s, the story is narrated almost entirely in a jarring jivey New Yorker slang, which captures the vibe of the New York Tri-state area in this era. Despite Holden’s countless obvious shortcomings, he nevertheless reveals himself to be a bright yet sensitive young man, who endears himself to the reader through his brutal honesty, genuine kindness to others and non-“phony” airs. J.D. Salinger, masterfully creates a cast of vivid and flamboyant characters who keep the story lively from start to finish. To be honest, after reading this novel, I am still not 100% sure what “The Catcher in the Rye” really means. It seems to me (based in part on the poem “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye” by Robert Burns that the protagonist recites) to represent someone who has a meaningless job with no purpose in life and who does not want to grow up – the absurd profession of catching children running through a field of rye to prevent them from falling off a cliff – as expressed by Holden. Apart from an occasional insightful nugget of wisdom (life advice) I am somewhat baffled by the popularity of The Catcher in the Rye. I give this book a solid 3 stars.
Have you read The Catcher in the Rye? What are your thougts after reading it? What did you find most interesting about it? Thanks as always for stopping by! Please feel free to share your thoughts or reactions in a comment below. Also, if you would like to receive more updates about my writing please consider joining my newsletter mailing list by subscribing below.