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“The Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger

26 Abr

The Catcher in the Rye was written by JD Salinger.  Since it was published  in 1954  it was followed by controversial critics because of its protagonist’s explicit sexual language,  that’s why it had been censured and prohibited for years. The book tells us the three days’ journey its protagonist, a sixteen year old boy, makes from New Jersey to New York after being expelled from a boarding school and before going home and telling his parents the bad news.

The book opens when the protagonist and narrator, Holden Caulfield, has failed all his exams and has been expelled from Percy Prep school, the school his parents had sent him as his last chance to get a degree and go to University. At school he shares dormitory with two room mates he hates but things get even worse when we hear about his teachers. Holden feels nothing has sense and needs to escape and that’s when he decides to go to New York and spend the three days he has left before going home for Christmas. He takes a late train and gets to Penn Station where he tries to phone an old friend and some friends in town. Again Holden feels lonely in a city he can’t understand and both the places he visits and the people he meets make him clear this is not the world he should be. In the end, desperate, he comes back home to see his little sister, Phoebe, the only person he really loves, that’s when he tells her he would like to be in a rye field and protect all those kids playing unaware of the danger, just be “The Catcher in the rye”.

In The Catcher in the Rye Salinger tries to describe not only  Holden’s three days in NY but its protagonist’s inner voyage from childhood to manhood. He deals with subjects like loss of innocence, death, youth and religion from a teen’s point of view you will like to understand and love. No wonder the book is considered a classic in American literature since, as all classics, it describes all  those human feelings that are always true.


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