Today I will make a small review of one of the bestsellers of all time The Catcher in the Rye.
The place where all happens is New York, USA.
The protagonist is called Holden Caulfield, a teenager which is expelled from “the next” high school.
His expelling happens a few days before Christmas’s Eve holidays so he takes the decision to go home by himself instead of calling on his parents to come and get him and of course to spare them some of the stress around his dropping of school.
In brief the book reviews the problems of Holden while he is striving to get his place in adulthood and in society in general.
There is this confrontation between realism and idealism.
The philosophy of “I am dead inside” which includes the idea to forget or to deliberately don’t pay that much attention about everything which is beautiful inside of you, the existence of true love and the meaning of your own life is opposite to the idea of that if you want to become part of the society you must obey it’s rules, you must accept the superficial aspect of life, the snobbery and to embrace the trends.
And somewhere there to try to preserve your true self and in the same time to be a very good pretender. Something which I think Holden was trying to juggle – The every day hassle with his mates in Pencey’s prep dorms – Ackley Kid and Stradlater, his love for Sally and Jane, the pimp and the prostitute scene, even his teacher Mr. Antolini which gave him wise councils about what to do in life but in the same time he scared Holden with his attitude. If you want to find out why, it’s better to read the book.
In general, it could be told a lot about the meaning of this book, about the influence of mass media and the burden over the shoulders of each individual living in our society as well as the hard dilemmas which are buried deep into the lives of young people as Holden.
I was thinking that when somebody hear the term “bestseller” especially someone which was studied into some of the schools part of the American educational system then you can live with the wrong impression that the book is very hard to read.
I couldn’t be far enough in that understanding. I was living for a long time with the illusion that this book is hard to read because earlier in my high school years somebody have been “very proud” to had read it.
And I was only barely grasping the name of it “Catcher, rye, wtf?”
But the truth is that the book is written in relatively easy way, there wasn’t a lot of unknown words and in general the concepts weren’t very hard to grasp and reflect on them.
I could say that there was some quantity of expressions which I was purely curious what they meant but even without them you could understand it to a very high extent.
My conclusion is that the book impressed me in terms of structure of the text and the way the dialogues and the internal reflections were written. I like the way while Holden was discovering the bad sides of life he was also saw the small positive things in each one of the personages which he met. And finally, you could smell and feel the American way of life at least at the years when the book was written.
Here you can see some stats of the book: