The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

The stream of consciousness style used is appealing. I usually dislike this mode of narration– most authors manage to give me a headache and become annoyed at the text, but J.D. Salinger managed it seamlessly. I remember telling one of my friends, “Reading this book feels as if I were having a conversation with my fifteen year old brother, aggravating and endearing at the same time.” There are so many instances where I identify with Salinger’s rebellious protagonist; I remember fantasizing these ridiculous scenarios about my own death, going into little theatrics about it and then realizing how stupid it was. That existential angst of not knowing what the next step would be and what the whole point of living was and feeling depressed, being aware of social divisions — like the scene with the suitcases — and their unfairness, and feeling sorry for those adults that seemed stuck in unfortunate situations. I still find myself questioning my own place in the world and I wonder if that makes me a silly twenty seven year old adolescent. Also, Salinger’s take on adolescent sexuality was excruciating to read, but it seemed fairly accurate; all those hormones and inexperience lead up to some awkward situations when one usually ends up biting off more than one can chew. I remember wanting to do a great deal but lacking the guts of getting anything accomplished. It was sort of a relief to find out that it wasn’t only me.

Finally, Salinger’s images were pretty impressive. He does not describe much, but what he does describe leaves a very indelible footprint in your mind; the carousel, the museum, the dead classmate, the field of rye and the cliff. Each one of them brings up the same recurring theme, the loss of innocence and how painful is to let go of one’s childhood where everything seemed simple and uncomplicated.

This book is definitely worth your time. Read it and recall those times long gone.

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Economics Student by day, classical singer by night. My hobbies are: painting, drawing, gardening, embroidery, photography, and learning how to play the piano.