The Catcher in the Rye (Part II) – DEAR Entry

Over the past two weeks, I have been reading J.D. Salinger’s renowned coming-of-age novel, The Catcher in the Rye. The novel recounts the protagonist, Holden Caulfield’s transition into adulthood, which simultaneously symbolises childhood. Even though Holden may seem like the iconic rebel, the specific way he behaves is highly impacted by the heartrending death of his younger brother, Allie. Beneath the surface of this rebellious, depressed, phony adolescent lies a teenager who simply wishes to be the “catcher in the rye” – the man who saves children from falling over the cliff in the rye.

“She was right, though. It is ‘If a body meet a body coming through the rye.’ I didn’t know it then, though. ‘I thought it was ‘If a body catch a body,’ I said. ‘Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around–nobody big, I mean–except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff–I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going. I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be’” (pages 224-225).

Salinger sagely sums up the novel’s theme through naming the book The Catcher in the Rye. Holden is not simply saving the children from falling over the cliff, but saving them from falling into the dangers of adolescence and adulthood – which he has personally experienced. Overall, I enjoyed reading the novel, since the portrayals of characters make them seem real and relatable, without employing any sophisticated or fancy diction. I would recommend this book to almost anyone, as it is a nice read that provokes thoughts after you have read it.

1 person likes this post.

Comments are closed.

Recent Comments