CATCHER IN THE RYE
J.D. Salinger. Catcher in the Rye. Boston, 1951
Holden Caulfield is the sixteen year-old narrator whose experiences form the action of the novel. He seems to have a history of expulsion and failure because of his inability to adjust to institutional life and the world in general. His recent expulsion from Pencey Prep and a series of other traumatic experiences lead him to an inevitable emotional breakdown. The Catcher in the Rye is a loosely strung set of incidents that are combined to reveal four days in the life of Holden Caulfield. The novel is periodic in nature, and the bulk of it is narrated in the form of flashbacks. The plot is also supplement with a number of digressions, which help to reveal more about the various characters, especially Holden.
Holden's journey begins on a Saturday in December just before school closes for Christmas break.
He has been informed of his expulsion from Pencey Prep School. What worries him most about being kicked out of school is his parents' reaction, for he has already been expelled from other educational institutions. He cannot bear to remain in the dormitory after he has been beaten up by his roommate Stradlater and on impulse, he decides to leave the same night. However, he does not want to face his parents until they have recovered from the news of the expulsion. He decides to stay in a cheap hotel in New York City, going home only on the day he was originally expected.
The novel charts Holden's experiences over a period of about forty hours, starting from the time he leaves Pencey Prep. Holden encounters a large number of people as he navigates New York and goes into nightclubs. Lonely and desperate, he accepts the offer of the...