This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Catcher In The Rye: Why It Is An American Classic?

2096 words - 8 pages

This essay was written by a 16 Year Old (2006) in a selective high school (Sydney) in the top English class (later on became Dux of English). Was chosen to be the 'model' essay, so I guess its an A+ or 10/10. 2000 words.*********************The Catcher In The Rye has been renowned as a classic due to a wide range of factors which have been able to garner appeal to the audience throughout the ages. JD Salinger has created a character- Holden Caulfield, which the audience can easily identify and relate to, demonstrated via his wandering style of thought and retelling of events in the book. Similarly, Holden’s popular culture and social commentary reveals much of the ‘human condition’, which the audience throughout time could relate to, particularly of the universal theme of growing up in an adult world. Thus, it is through Holden which the audience can follow his physical and mental journey through a conservative 1950s society which he constantly rejects and rebels against.Firstly, perhaps what has made The Catcher In The Rye such a classic is of Salinger’s portrayal of Holden Caulfield. A teenage boy full of angst and rebelliousness in growing up and accepting the adult world, Holden’s character is one which depicts him as an insecure, distrusting and hateful of superficiality type person, making him an antihero throughout his journey. Within the first chapters of the book, Holden impresses upon the reader that he is indeed a ‘black sheep’ of society. He finds no reason to stay in school, undervaluing education and does not think much of his future. This is perhaps best exemplified with his scoffing cynicism to Mr Spencer’s statement of,‘Life is a game boy, a game one plays accordingly to the rules.’To which Holden then speaks in his mind,‘Game my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots 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 hot-shots, then what’s a game about? Nothing. No game.’Such a depressing statement provides insight to Holden’s mind that he purposely omits himself from participating in ‘the game’- that is, of ‘life’ itself; on the side of where ‘they’re aren’t any hot-shots’.This is reinforced even further with arguably one of Holden’s most famous quips- the words ‘phoney’ and ‘phoniness’. However, these quotes of Holden should not merely be dismissed as just slang a 1950’s teen uses, but demonstrating Holden’s open disdain for superficiality and society’s emphasis on status and social standing. For example, Holden comments on his roommate Stradlater as a ‘kind of a handsome guy that if your parents saw in your Year Book, they’d right away say, “Who’s this boy?”’. However, Holden also observes Stradlater as a ‘secret slob’ shown with his ‘crummy...

Find Another Essay On The Catcher In The Rye: Why It Is An American Classic?

The catcher in the rye is hold

1218 words - 5 pages Everyone has to make choices about what is important to them during life, and often, the time when this is hardest is the teen years. In The Catcher In The Rye , author J.D. Salinger epitomizes the growing pains of these teen years. The main character, Holden Caulfield, is a sixteen year old boy who has many ideas and values typical to teens. He also has characteristics that for teens are not necessarily normal. Salinger uses a train of thought

Catcher In The Rye Essay

554 words - 2 pages knowledge he gainedthrough his past experiences.  He visits many actual places such as, Central Park, The American Museum of NaturalHistory, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Holden is an adolescent boy on the edge of adulthood, and he is justtrying to make sense of his life and where he stands in it.              The literary element characterization played a major role in this novel.  In the story there were not that manywell-developed characters in

Catcher in the Rye

684 words - 3 pages it is still a very controversial book though it is more accepted than before. The change of society from the 1950 to the society of the 21 century is reflected in the banned book status of Catcher in the Rye.Catcher in the Rye was definitely a book that was ahead of the way of thinking of its time; this is not because of the events, but because the way that the author clearly and flawlessly reveals the darkness of these. The use of bad language

Catcher In The Rye

558 words - 2 pages phony world. He realized that people eventually lose their innocence as they grow up. That's why he fantasized about being the catcher in the rye; catching children in the rye field if they run toward the cliff. "You know what I'd like to be? "¦ What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know its crazy, but that's the only thing I'd

Catcher in the Rye

648 words - 3 pages Catcher in the Rye Why it is a Catch Some books, such as sleazy Wal-Mart romances, are dead as soon as they hit the shelves. These books are food for landfills, and probably remain in the hearts of only two people: the author and the 60 year old hermit woman who waits, with mossy teeth for her Fabio to swing from the vines of the book's cover (Tarzan call and all) and rescue her from soap operas and loneliness. But, there are books

Catcher In The Rye

1679 words - 7 pages merry-go-round. The character's words could equally be used to describe an amusement park attraction or life in general. "That's the nice thing about carrousels; they always play the same song" (Catcher in the Rye 210). Much of modern day society has lost sight of the values and ideals that truly matter, and it is J. D. Salinger, through the example of his own life, as well as the character development of the figures who appear in his books

Catcher in the Rye

741 words - 3 pages brother's death. Holden's alienation towards the world is clearly what brings on this rejective personality of Holden's. Another aspect of Holden that drives this personality of his is his estrangement towards facing reality. This can most likely be compared to many people in the real world which is just one of the reasons why Catcher In The Rye, is such a wonderful book. Until people like Holden realize that growing up is an inevitable action in one's

Catcher in the Rye

1238 words - 5 pages 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

Catcher In The Rye

955 words - 4 pages Catcher in the Rye EssayHolden Caulfield is clearly portrayed as an existentialist as illustrated through his lack of confidence, the distinct ways he isolates himself from the world, and his different personal beliefs.While reading the book "Catcher in The Rye" one could not help but to notice the issue that seems to be the lack of confidence in Holden's life. Very early on in the book, Holden states a few facts that explain what seems to be a

catcher in the rye

1495 words - 6 pages the front, then pulled it way down over my eyes. That way, I couldn't see a goddam thing" (Salinger 21). Holden reacts to Ackley by pulling his hat over his eyes, instantly blocking himself off from the world. He creates an illusion that he is no longer there anymore, despite the fact that he is still accompanied by Ackley. By hiding from this adolescent problem, Holden only reprieves the situation. As Holden aspires to be the catcher in the

Catcher In The Rye - 1383 words

1383 words - 6 pages The Morality behind Holden Caulfield an the Catcher in the Rye The book The Catcher in the Rye contains many swear words however the book shows to be very moral shown through the actions of Holden Caulfield. His expressions on sex are moral because he does not want to have sex even when the opportunity arises, showing he has patients and maturity many other men may not have or show. His dignity for others is an act of good morals because he does

Similar Essays

Why Catcher In The Rye Shouldnt Be Banned

1164 words - 5 pages The book The Catcher In The Rye is a very controversial book which has been banned in many school districts and which some parents are glad it is. While there are arguments on why the book should be banned because of the characters, which range from honorable to insolent. The book represents intolerance of other people and other people’s religion. This novel may contain many controversial issues but the book teaches about morals and acceptance

Banned Book Essay "The Catcher In The Rye" By J.D. Salinger. This Essay Is About Why The Catcher In The Rye By J.D. Salinger Was Banned From Many States

786 words - 3 pages awkwardness and mistrust of adults.Overall, "The Catcher in the Rye" was written to alert people of the thoughts and feelings of teens these days. It is the story of one boy trying to invent a role for himself. He is desperately trying not to grow to be a "phony". Struggling for an adult role, he invents "Catcher in the Rye", always saving children from the consequences of their mistakes. It is ironic that Holden's ambition is probably shared with

Why Does Holden Caulfield Always Lie In The Catcher In The Rye? There's Underlying Reasons

1058 words - 4 pages dislike for personal contact in J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. As one can observe, the pain that comes along with personal contact is too much for Holden. He always seems to direct attention away from himself because when he is the focal point of a conversation, personal topics come up, such as the reason for the fight with Stradlater. He also cannot stand being told his own errors because it displays his weakness, which is something he

"Catcher In The Rye" By J. D. Salinger: Why Did Salinger Write This Book?

675 words - 3 pages There are certain elements which make up stories, one of which is the development of characters or a particular character. Many stories present the readers with an adolescent or young adult, as they are more prone to change than older characters . Observing characters’ growth is something that keeps the readers attached to the characters. However, in the book "Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger, the absence of this element is the