The Catcher In The Rye – JD Salinger (1951)


JD Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye has been a controversial novel since its original publication in 1951. Holden Caulfield is the personification of loneliness and angst, now associated primarily with teens. He feels misunderstood and surrounded by “phonies”. He seeks connections with people, but can never quite feel it. He dances with women, talks to his roommate and feels alone. He wears a red hunting cap, which is symbolic of his strangeness – he is unique, he is alone, he feels like everyone else is weird, and he will not fit in. The only person he feels any affinity for in his depression is his little sister, Phoebe. He cheers himself with a mishearing of Comin’ Through The Rye by Robbie Burns, believing that the Catcher in the Rye is the keeper of childhood innocence, and wanting to be the Catcher. While Salinger was writing in the 1950s, Holden is still just as apt today, as social media keeps people from truly connecting with one another. Inexplicably a long time member of the Banned Books club, I would suggest that everyone read this 214 page literary classic. 

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