Sunday, July 24, 2011

Classics: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Classics is a little thing I started where I talk about classic novels (or older novels that have no need of being reviewed in this day and age). I do not necesarily review the books, just give my opinion and talk about why they're important, whether I enjoyed them or not.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger may be one of the most widely read and questioned classic novels ever written ever since its release in 1951, as it deals with teenage angst, depression, and sexuality. However, many see that there's not much that happens in this story when you look at it through a general perspective. It's a novel that you have to look deep into in order to understand it. For that reason, some people do not care much for this novel. Personally, it's one of my favorites. I love it.

Holden Caulfield, the strange yet wonderful main character, has flunked out of college again and is headed for home. The story is led by his string of thoughts about how "phony" so many people in the world are and the reader sees he is oftentimes overcome by depression. It seems that the only people he really does care for is children, for they aren't phony like most adults. He finds realizations in the midst, and feels sad for those fake people he can hate so easily.

With that, some may think that it's odd that I can relate to Holden. I felt like I could understand him and agree with him on certain terms in ways I've never been able to relate to any other character or person. Holden may have taken those similarities between us to extents that are more extreme than I reflect them, and because of those extreme feelings of his, he's someone that I easily felt sorry for right away. I was depressed when he felt depressed, and I felt sorry for him when he was sorry for everybody - even people he didn't like.

It's too bad that The Catcher in the Rye isn't always understood. That such a marvelous piece of work is often challenged and even banned. There's something so much deeper to it. But I guess not everyone can be quite so peculiar as Holden nor as strange as me. Maybe that's why this book is so special to me; it speaks to me in a way that no other story ever has and others simply don't understand. That connection has to be rare, right?

I cried a couple of times while reading The Catcher in the Rye since it moved me so. It was a lot of firsts for me, and the way I could relate to some of the elements of this book wasn't the only first for me either. Immediately after putting it down, I wanted to read it again. That's never happened to me before.

This book is something that I can't even talk about in a way that conveys how I feel.

5/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Even though it was written in the 1950's it still appeals to teenagers around the world.