Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

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“The Catcher in the Rye” (1951) Review


As of late, the world has been captivated by the phenomenon of main characters specifically curated by authors to be despised by readers. I have also been captivated by this artistic choice, which is why “The Catcher in the Rye” written by J.D. Salinger was such an interesting, frustrating and at times relatable read.

Reflecting upon the novel’s three days of events as told by institutionalized 17-year-old Holden Caulfield, it quickly became evident to me that “The Catcher in the Rye” is unlike any other book.

Caulfield, like most teenagers, is an unreliable narrator. From being kicked out of his prep school to unnecessarily lying to his peers, Caulfield continuously attempts to prove to readers that he is exempt from any wrongdoings. As each unassuming, innocent side-character gets labeled as a “phony,” Caulfield’s deep loathing for everyone but his younger sister, Phoebe, manages to turn readers against the troubled teen. However, aside from his arrogance and negligence, I can’t help but pity young Caulfield.

Caulfield is without hope; he has hit rock bottom at the mere age of 17 and shows no sign of ever returning to the top. The majority of his shortcomings may be self inflicted, sure, but I believe his true deposition began succeeding the death of his brother, Allie. Losing his battle to leukemia at the age of 11, Allie is always described by Caulfield as “terrifically intelligent” and “a nice kid.” Losing one of the only people he truly loved, I can’t imagine myself behaving in any way different than Caulfield.

Salinger wrote the controversial classic over the span of 10 years, whilst simultaneously serving time in World War II. As documented in a PBS article, “J. D. Salinger spent ten years writing The Catcher in the Rye and the rest of his life regretting it.” But why did he regret it so? Could it have been the so-called “offensive” nature of the book causing it to be banned in three states? Or maybe it was the difficulties that came along with creating a character that so closely reflected himself? Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed every page of “The Catcher in the Rye” and am extremely disappointed in the fact that it is impossible to determine what Holden Caulfield is up to now.



(Image: BookMarks Reviews)


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