“That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.”
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Little Brown Company 1951 Young Adult, Coming-of-age
“…the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them.”
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation. (goodreads)
Okay, before we start I would just like to say that I am thankful to John Green because if it wasn’t for his enthusiastic video review of this book I might not able to last a hundred fifty pages of this book. And I know, that’s saying something.
Holden, Oh Holden. You’ve been such a name for a very long time and how I just met you. You are such a bad-ass and a pain in the neck to your parents but hey, I actually understand what you’ve been going through.
Okay, enough with that. Holden Copperfield is your “typical” teenager. But, not so typical. He’s weird, if you are brave enough to say that, but he is normal if you know your way around him. Like, I know him personally. Let me be honest that I really cannot understand what he’s doing with his life during the first chapters and I just actually want it to get over with. I’m glad I read it, though.
I cannot say that I actually “liked” this book but I must say that it’s really an important one. They say this book started a new age of literature and even though, it’s now a banned book, I don’t know why to be honest, the writing is very contemporary and people still enjoy reading and relieving his story. I understand why this has become a favorite, it speaks a lot of truth about the the angst of teenagers.
I also had this problem while reading it because I was taking everything literally because I thought it’s written like that. I want to let everyone who is planning to read this book, this is a book of metaphors and symbolism. I’d really love to dwell into that but I don’t think it’s necessary since I don’t want to spoil you, guys. If you’re not used to classics with long descriptions, and you’re not a fan of metaphors I don’t think you would enjoy this one.
Once I started understanding all these symbolisms I started having this sense of adoration and comfort (yeah, that’s what I felt hoho) about the whole concept. It started making sense! I am Holden, we are Holden.
You need patience and motivation. Pun intended.
I’ve read a lot of reviews saying that this book changed their lives and I was like, “Where?” during the whole time but I had this part where he met his former English teacher (which actually he thought might be gay) and told him that. “The mark of immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” Hmmm, some thoughts to ponder.
Then, here’s another one, “You’re a student – whether the idea appeals to you or not. You’re in love with knowledge. And I think you’ll find, once you get past all the Mr. Vineses […] you’re going to start getting closer and closer – that is, if you want to, and if you look for it and wait for it – to the kind of information that will be very, very dear to your heart. Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them – if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”
Just suddenly made me want to go back to school right away
Anyway, have you read this? or if not, are you planning to? 🙂