A Biography Of J.D. Salinger Essay

1249 words - 5 pages

'I Think that J.D.Salinger is the most talented fiction writer in America.'(Hyman, Edgar p.444) ''Salinger is an oddity, an obsessive, who commands respect..'(Kazin, Alfred p.446) These are just a portion of endless quotes which describe Salinger's impact on typical modern day literature critic. Throughout his career he has turned the heads of many people and has been an inspirational writer for the generations with such books as 'The Catcher in the Rye' and 'The Glass House,'J.D.Salinger was born on the first of January 1919, in New York City, to Sol and Mirian Jilich Salinger. Salinger had one sister, Doris, that was eight years older than him. He attended public school on Manhattans upper west side. His grades where slightly above average. There are also reports that he tested to a 104 on an I.Q. test. Salinger was enrolled at thirteen, by his parents, in Manhattans 'Highly rated' McBurney school. They where concerned about his grades. He flunked out one year later. Salinger was then enrolled in Valley Forge Military Academy in the Pennsylvania Hills. It was here that certain biographical facts begin to build up in accounting for Salinger as a writer. It was at Valley Forge that Salinger developed a sense of being a misfit, of having been sent away to become part of an alien institution, and that what is needed, what is missed, is a larger, closer family.It was after graduating from Valley Forge that Salinger wrote some of his first works. Salinger was deeply emotionalize by World war two. This had a great deal to do with his first writings. 'Many of Salingers early stories do not deal directly with the war... but a war atmosphere permeates them - and it is not one of patriotism nor is it representative of the kind thought found in so much writing to come out of the war. His early stories generally portray characters who feel estranged and marooned because of WWII.'(De Luca, Geraldine p.518)Salingers greatest writing was 'The Catcher in the Rye'. This book was a great achievement that first drew and overwhelming amount of attention to him and his work. It is shown that different generations look at the book differently and have very different perspectives of the main character, Holden. 'The catcher in the Rye is a deceptively simple, enormously rich look who's source of appeal run in deep and completely varied veins. The very young are likely to identify with Holden and to see the adult world in which he so journs as completely phony for rebels and a guide to identification of squares. The older generation is likely to identify with some part of the society that is satirized, and to see Holden as a bright but sick boy who's psyche needs adjustment before he can, as he will, find his nitch and settle down.'(Miller, James p.298)'Few heroes of contemporary literature have aroused so much devotion, imitation, or controversy as J.D.Salingers Holden Caulfield as the dissaflicted adolescent who's lost weekend in New York is chronicled in The Catcher...

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