“The Catcher in the Rye” Review by Ayham A., 802

“The Catcher in the Rye,” a timeless classic enriched with adventurous outbursts, is categorized as an extremely well-written piece of literature for a variety of reasons.  J.D. Salinger’s depiction of events and characters play an important role in enhancing the reader’s experience. The employment of multiple literacy techniques, such as symbolism, further provokes the emotional state of the audience.

Some examples in which symbolism was efficiently portrayed were the hidden meanings of the red hunting cap, the carousel, and the ducks in the pond. The author’s writing is also much more relaxed. It is as though you are speaking to Holden, the protagonist of the novel, directly in a casual conversation. This is another reason why people can connect with Holden so well while reading the book. But the book isn’t about the writing solely. It is the voice of several generations of teenagers in the sense of the world. It is a universe of angst with no sense of direction. Or maybe it is the voice of trivialism and manipulation. Holden Caulfield is more than an icon. He is someone who is trying to make sense of his life and life around him. It might appear to be as simple as this, when it is not or may be it is. Holden isn’t an ordinary child.


He had experiences the common 16-year-old nowadays would dream to be possible. Not to mention he comes from a family of riches, despite his inability to do well in school. However, his main quality that differs him from anyone else in his time period was his mental illness. It is unknown precisely what he was diagnosed with, however, some popular theories are Depression and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  At this time, mental illnesses had little to no research and scientific knowledge about them. People had trouble understanding mental illnesses therefore just dumped those people in a mental asylum or something of the sort. Holden didn’t want that though, coming from a rich family he was able to avoid having to do that, instead he would drift from school to school and adventure throughout the city.


Mental illness wasn’t entirely detrimental on Holden’s case. He had obtained deeper knowledge of people that anyone else would just ignore. He could sense people “phoniness”. He could see all the hypocrisy in all the adults and people around him. This is what helped him relate to the angst-filled teenagers we all are on the inside. Like everyone else, Holden just wanted honesty and truth being told to him, but living in New York City, that’s going to be a rather impossible task to achieve.



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