"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D.Salinger

Essay by snowman65High School, 10th gradeB, June 2006

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"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D.Salinger is a book that ventures into the mind of a confused, neglected 16 year old boy called Holden Caulfield as he runs away from conformity endeavoring to find his place and meaning in life. The story of Holden is depressing and sad, as you witness the triumphs and ordeals that approach him. Holden confronts many difficulties coping in a society in which he does not fit. Instead he is left out of the crowd as a phony.

In most of Holden's ordeals, a common issue in our society and in the book is revealed through the life of Holden. The theme of searching for identity is one that I believe exists in today's society, relating to social problems, exclusion and depression. What does identity include? This same question is asked every day by thousands of people who don't know the answer.

An individuals identity can be seen through their religious beliefs, sexuality, personality, acceptance and where you belong. All these are key issues that play a major role in this situation, especially personality and sexuality, as they determine if you are accepted by the people around you.

When this novel was written in 1945, homosexuality was a major issue in people's lives. It was classified, and looked on as a way to define and categorize Christianity and other religions. The novel demonstrates the importance of ones sexuality. Holden in my opinion is bisexual as he has mixed up thoughts of both genders. "He went of his room with his toilet kit under his arm. No shirt on or anything. He always walked around in his bare torso because he thought he had a god dam build. He did, too. I have to admit it." (pg22) "Strandlater was a very sexy bastard."...