The Catcher In The Rye Summary
The Catcher In The Rye was first published in 1951 by J.D. Salinger. The central theme in the book is alienation.
The story opens with 17-year-old Holden Caulfield, narrating the story of three days in his life (Most believe he is in a psychiatric institution, but that is not the case; he is in tuberculosis rest home).
The book is set in the 1940 New York. Holden attended three previous boarding schools and flunked out because he refused to apply himself. As you read the novel Holden issue with acceptance, becomes very apparent. He is upset with how the adult world operates and that is what drove him insane. He cannot relate to anyone but his sister Phoebe who is younger than him. Holden is struggling to accept what he sees, and this makes him anxious. Since he too is becoming an adult, and he will then be considered one of ‘those people’ he hates. This causes him to experience a series of interesting events (this part is the majority of the book).
At the end of ‘The Catching In The Rye’ Holden meets his sister and she encourages him to run away with her and forget about school. Holden sees a reflection of his previous attitude in her and decides to return home. There he is admitted for treatment in a mental hospital.
Things to Note
This novel contains a fair amount of profanity. If that is something which offends you then don’t read it. Many of the actions taken in the book often question morality which makes it hard for me to recommend this release to young teens. But ironically the story is of a teen and is relatable to their decision making and thought patterns, generally urging them to remain who they are and not conform to the pressures of society. Therefore we recommend the Catcher in the Rye to older teens but before reaching adulthood.
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