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Trail: CatcherInTheRye



almost didn’t want to finish it. really was not something for me i guess. a novel written in the voice of a 16 year old boy, boarding school refugee, not especially sympathetic. who was the intended audience in the 50s for this book?

lifted from:

 Superficially the story of a young man's expulsion from yet another school, The
 Catcher in the Rye is in fact a perceptive study of one individual's 
 understanding of his human condition. Holden Caulfield, a teenager growing up 
 in 1950s New York, has been expelled school for poor achievement once again. 
 In an attempt to deal with this he leaves school a few days prior to the end 
 of term, and goes to New York to 'take a vacation' before returning to his
 parents' inevitable wrath. Told as a monologue, the book describes Holden's
 thoughts and activities over these few days, during which he describes a 
 developing nervous breakdown, symptomised by his bouts of unexplained depression,
 impulsive spending and generally odd, erratic behaviour, prior to his eventual 
 nervous collapse.
 However, during his psychological battle, life continues on around Holden as it 
 always had, with the majority of people ignoring the 'madman stuff' that is  
 happening to him - until it begins to encroach on their well defined social 
 codes. Progressively through the novel we are challenged to think about society's 
 attitude to the human condition - does society have an 'ostrich in the sand' 
 mentality, a deliberate ignorance of the emptiness that can characterise human 
 existence? And if so, when Caulfield begins to probe and investigate his own 
 sense of emptiness and isolation, before finally declaring that he world is full 
 of 'phonies' with each one out for their own phony gain, is Holden actually the 
 one who is going insane, or is it society which has lost it's mind for failing to 
 see the hopelessness of their own lives?

i seeeee. i think the reason it doesn’t have impact for me is because i am used to so much stronger stuff. the fact that this boy is having a nervous breakdown, something which doesn’t become completely clear until the last page is hard to separate from what could be considered just teen angst today. kids act that erratic all the time now! i mean if that’s a nervous breakdown i had like five or six of those when i was a teenager! and well, the human condition has gotten so much worse since this was written, the world IS full of phonies! crashing bores! i guess i don’t feel the contemplation of it in this story i just read someone who seems like a spoiled brat. Salinger does not give a good reason why this kid is so malcontented, it doesn’t go deep enough. this is probably just amatter of time passing and for me 60 years later this boy’s reasons are unclear.
And I hate the way it is written. It was reminding me of the painful CoinLockerBabies