Catcher in the rye is the name of one of the most popular and successful Jerome David Salinger’s novels. I think that its real significance could be only understood after reading the whole book, which is very metaphorical, indeed.
The story starts in Agerstown, USA. Holden Caulfield, the main character, has been expelled from the Pencey School on account of his miserable achievements. Although he is supposed to stay at the school until the start of the Christmas vacation (two days), he leaves because of his schoolmates. He considers all of them - and mainly his roommate Stradlater - to be very phoney and unpleasant, and this makes him mad. He goes to say his farewells to his favorite teacher before leaving, but he is disgusted by the advice the teacher gives him. Since then, small incidents begin to happen one by one and initiate him to think deeply about the world and people. Holden leaves for his hometown, New York, and decides to spend a couple of days there before going home. Actually, he wants to wait until his parents learn the bad new from the school at first. So he stays in a cheap hotel and spends his free time wandering in the city and meeting friends, as well as unknown people. He keeps trying to meet with his little sister, Phoebe, but vain. Finally, he sneaks in their flat and sees her. They encounter few more times and with one such appointment the story ends.
The most interesting thing in the book are Holden’s trains of thought and his character reflected in them. Every small event, every meet with either new people, or old friends leaves him marked. The story is told in I-narration, and I would say that the author perfectly merged with the main character – it is drawn very deeply and impressively. Holden is a 16 years old boy without any ambitions to his life. He tells about himself that he is the black sheep of the family. His sister Phoebe, who is probably the second important character in the book, is described as a clever child, as well as his dead brother Allie. Interested neither in school, nor in further life, he thinks once about committing suicide, and then about escaping in wild, desert places. I had the feeling that he is a halved personality: on one hand he keeps trying to be polite, on the other – he smokes, drinks alcohol and swears a lot. Although he is very sensitive, he acts as a “tough guy”.
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Jerome David Salinger Catcher in the Rye
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|Jerome David Salinger Catcher in the Rye||SOŠ||2.9459||2469 slov|
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