Catching Up With The Catcher in the Rye!

                Over the last couple of weeks I've been extremely busy studying for tests and AP exams.  Although I've had a tight schedule, I was able to work some time in for reading.  I've been able to read 35 minutes each day outside of the classroom, and I read around 38 pages every 35 minutes.  I have challenged myself because I read a book from a genre I'm not used to reading which is literary realism, and it is from the AP reading list!  The book I decided to read is The Catcher in the Rye  by J.D. Salinger.  This book was recommended to me by many people!  Although the book did contain much profane language and events, I did find the book to be interesting!
               The novel details the story of Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old student who has been kicked out of Pency Prep due to his horrific grades.  After being kicked out, Holden goes to New York and ventures around the city.  He meets many different people, and he starts to observe the world around him.  As he keeps exploring, readers are able to understand that Holden is still trying to grasp how the people in the world treat each other.  He expresses his strong hatred for men who use women for sexual practices, and he begins to participate in actions such as drinking and smoking.  Readers also experience Holden's struggles as he continues to think about his school and home life.  In New York, Holden decides to visit his sister, Phoebe.  When he arrives, Holden and her have a conversation about him being kicked out of school.  She asks Holden what interests him and what he would like to be.  He answers her saying, "'Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around- nobody big, I mean except me.  And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff- I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That's all I'd do all day.  I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all'" (225).  The metaphors used in this quote demonstrate the fact that Holden wants to be the protector of innocence.  The kids falling off the cliff portray the change into adulthood, and Holden wants to be the one to catch them all if they make the wrong decisions.  This quote is important in the novel because it describes to readers what truly motivates Holden.  The novel describes Holden as a lazy and apathetic person who doesn't like going to school.  This quote, however, establishes the idea that Holden is a person with heart who cares about others.  Because of the idea of kids falling off the cliff when going into adulthood, I've been able to connect the quote to the real world.  In today's society, many kids make bad decisions when they reach a certain age.  Some believe in smoking, drinking, and having sex.  I do agree with Holden's statement in that some kids do fall off the cliff or make wrong decisions when going into adulthood.  It is very easy to make bad decisions because teenagers are still learning right from wrong.  Holden greatly demonstrates to readers that it's important to advise others when they make the wrong decisions.  This quote profoundly demonstrates what is happening in the real world, and it describes who Holden truly is as a person.

Comments

  1. I found Natasha's analysis sentence, "This quote, however, establishes the idea that Holden is a person with heart who cares about others" to be very interesting, because it demonstrates the fact that readers gain multiple perspectives about a character while they journey through a book (and learn who they are at heart, as well as how they seem to others). One question that I have is why the main character was kicked out of his Prep School, and if this is due to apathy or a good-hearted ulterior motive. This analysis reminds me of The Flame in The Mist by Renee Ahdieh, because the character's inner self and motives appear different to the reader than to the other characters in the book. This is a beautiful blog post!

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