The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J.D. Salinger, it is a very controversial book because of its explicit language and violence. The novel takes place in USA during the 1940s and 1950s, after the Second World War which was a period of change during which America gradually became an economical superpower. Furthermore, the novel portrays the consequences of the World War and other global events.
Holden, the principal character has already lost his younger brother Allie. This loss has a marked impact on him and definitely has consequences on his behaviour in everyday life. “I slept in the garage that night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows on the station wagon we had that time”.
On many an instance in the novel, Holden mentions that he does not want to follow the family’s tradition of being brilliant at school. This disturbs him as he has this constant pressure on him of keeping up to his family standards. He feels inadequate as he isn’t very good at school and does not really know where his life is going. He has been joining a multitude of schools and is thrown out every year. This chaotic situation creates several anxieties in his life as Holden has to be independent: “As a matter of fact, I’m the only dumb one in the family. My brother D.B.’s a writer and all, and my brother Allie, the one that died, was a wizard (...) I’m the only dumb one”.
His family is very wealthy and sophisticated, and he is always afraid of disappointing his parents. They are very “touchy”, they expect a lot from him. He is particularly attached to his younger sister and she means a lot to him.
Holden has faced a lot of difficulties in life, but he does not really know how to confront adult society. He did not get the vital guidance in the pre-adolescent period of his life, which led him to draw his own conclusions. For example, when Holden stays in a hotel, he observes carefully the adult society, and describes...