The Catcher In The Rye: Why It Is An American Classic?

Essay by grandimundiHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2007

download word file, 9 pages 5.0 1 reviews

This essay was written by a 16 Year Old (2006) in a selective high school (Sydney) in the top English class (later on became Dux of English). Was chosen to be the 'model' essay, so I guess its an A+ or 10/10. 2000 words.

*********************The Catcher In The Rye has been renowned as a classic due to a wide range of factors which have been able to garner appeal to the audience throughout the ages. JD Salinger has created a character- Holden Caulfield, which the audience can easily identify and relate to, demonstrated via his wandering style of thought and retelling of events in the book. Similarly, Holden’s popular culture and social commentary reveals much of the ‘human condition’, which the audience throughout time could relate to, particularly of the universal theme of growing up in an adult world. Thus, it is through Holden which the audience can follow his physical and mental journey through a conservative 1950s society which he constantly rejects and rebels against.

Firstly, perhaps what has made The Catcher In The Rye such a classic is of Salinger’s portrayal of Holden Caulfield. A teenage boy full of angst and rebelliousness in growing up and accepting the adult world, Holden’s character is one which depicts him as an insecure, distrusting and hateful of superficiality type person, making him an antihero throughout his journey. Within the first chapters of the book, Holden impresses upon the reader that he is indeed a ‘black sheep’ of society. He finds no reason to stay in school, undervaluing education and does not think much of his future. This is perhaps best exemplified with his scoffing cynicism to Mr Spencer’s statement of,‘Life is a game boy, a game one plays accordingly to the rules.’To which Holden then speaks in his mind,‘Game my...