The Catcher in the Rye

J. D. Salinger

I picked this book after Educated (2018), a beautifully written piece by Tara Westover. The more thoughtfully and reflectively Tara expresses in the reflections of her experiences, the less Salinger conveys through his main character, Holden Caulfield. Honestly speaking, I was disappointed at first because of its colloquial language and “crappy” thoughts Caulfield had about the people around him. He was depressed and “hated” everybody else.

 

Ok, I feel better now. The fact is that I kinda like it after finishing the whole book and understood that Caulfield was in his adolescence. A piece of advice for those finding Caulfield a repetitive and annoying whiner is to look at your posts on social media at your younger age. I found mine impulsive, embarrassing and yet immature, fun at the same time.


He was depressing inside, for example, just by seeing bald guys who comb their hair over from the side to cover the baldness (why??, seriously?). I can imagine some people just want to scream at him to grow up and think more maturely. Well, many of us are psychologically different at the moment reading about Caulfield’s life. I believe what makes this narrative annoying is that it spills out thoughts within young adults. We were probably once thinking like him, but rarely did we verbalize our feelings; we would rather sense it silently.


I have to admit that to me, Caulfield’s trait is made to go a bit too far, unreal and unfamiliar to many Asian readers (like me), but there his love for his younger sister saves his story from being poorly rated. Still there we see his informal use of language and emotional thoughts about the world around him in the conversations with his sister, but he becomes more adult-like there.


I kinda learned to acknowledge the full gap between teenagers and adults (their viewpoints, aesthetic senses and all). Anyway, not a オススメ, but a fairly good read.

Summer 2019

July 2, 2019, 3:00:00 PM

4.0

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The Catcher in the Rye