Friday, 21 November 2014

Review of "The Catcher in the Rye"

Everything's been crazy manic at the moment, but I've managed to scrape together enough time to read a bit of this almost every day. I pretty much chose to read this because I'd heard of it, assumed it was something that would educate me, and felt as though I probably ought to read it as a lit student. Let's be real, everyone has a whole stack of books that fit into that category - most of which we'll never quite get round to reading (who knows, A Tale of Two Cities might happen some day!). Anyway, I picked out this quote because it really highlights just how distressing/depressing I found the entire book. I realise that there is a purpose behind this tone, however, it didn't make it any cheerier!

Holden Caulfield is a schoolboy who comes from a rich family, yet can't seem to find his place at school. He fails all of his classes, doesn't have any friends and is generally disillusioned with the entire concept of what he ought to be doing as a schoolboy. When he is  forced to leave the school he learns that, although he now controls his own actions to a greater extent, he still doesn't want to cohere to societal expectations. The novel tracks his actions over the couple of days after he leaves school, and leaves readers questioning their own almost drone-like adherence to rules and expectations.

The novel is written in an almost conversational manner. The reader is constantly aware, through devices such as repetition, that it is a vaguely exhausted child narrating the text. Through his eyes, you really get a new understanding of the capitalist driven world in which we live. Money is everything here - he only achieves the freedom he is able to have because of his stack of cash he has with him. Adults are seemingly oblivious to his existence - he is the example of someone who has "fallen through the cracks". 

Have you read it? Did you enjoy it?


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