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Catcher In The Rye Essay

1238 words - 5 pages

“Catcher in the Rye”, written by J.D Salinger, is a coming-of-age novel. Narrated by the main character, Holden Caulfield, he recounts the days following his expulsion from his school. This novel feels like the unedited thoughts and feelings of a teenage boy, as Holden narrates as if he is talking directly to readers like me.
I disliked “Catcher in the Rye”. There seems to be no actual, concrete plot to this novel. The novel is essentially a really long flashback of the three days Holden spent in New York. Nothing memorable happens in the novel; I think that the novel is basically an endless repetition of Holden complaining and whining about everyone else. I personally could not bring myself ...view middle of the document...

He does not want to interact with anybody, preferring to be isolated and ignored. He is immature and childish, refusing to grow up. Holden’s bitterness of adulthood and the world around him causes him to withdraw into cynical isolation. Faced with the challenges of growing up, he gives up and becomes bitter instead of learning from them. When told that life is a game, Holden says “Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hotshots are, then it's a game, all right — I'll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hotshots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game.” This quote highlights that Holden sees himself as the person on the other side, alone and isolated. He is also always complaining and whining about his situation. He seems to blame the whole of humanity for his struggles. This is seen from his complaints and rants peppered throughout the novel, such as “People never notice anything”, “People never believe you”, “People never give your message to anybody” and “People are always ruining things for you.” However, as I read his grumbles and whines, I find that Holden is the hypocrite he hates. He constantly judges people, complaining and criticizing them, and yet I think that it is he himself who needs to look into his own mistakes.
When I read “The Catcher in the Rye”, I wanted to shake Holden by the shoulders and just shout at him to grow up. Holden is just immature and self obsessed, he is in denial that he is no longer a child. As a teenager myself, I couldn’t help but cringe at Holden’s selfish, pessimistic attitude. I can relate to some of the challenges he goes through, such as feeling lonely sometimes, as well as being afraid of adulthood. However, I had a hard time feeling sorry for him. I just wished Holden would grow up. So many people have it as bad as he does, and some people have it even worse. This does not mean they mope about in their daily lives and complain about everything and everyone. Facing challenges and sufferings do not give anyone an excuse to whine and complain 24/7. We should not be using our hardships as something that gives us the right to be bitter and judge and criticize others. Even though we had a bad day, it doesn’t give us the right to make others’ day bad as well. Holden needs to learn these lessons. Holden is an icon in teenage rebellion; He...

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