J. D. Salinger 'The Catcher in the Rye'

Essay by Mashutka April 2004

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In the novel 'The Catcher in the Rye' J. D. Salinger tells about the American teenager and his conflict with the adult's world and the whole society. The action of the novel takes place in America in the beginning of the 50s. The novel is quite extraordinary, as the whole action lasts only for three days, and it is mostly concentrated on the main character's thoughts and inner world rather than on the events. The main idea of the novel is teenager's protest and rebellion against conformity and snobbism of the society he belongs to. Holden doesn't want to live his life according to the rules excepted in this society. The author raises many problems in the novel: alienation and sufferings of a lonely person, misunderstanding with adults and even with people of his age, disillusion and dissatisfaction with his life, a desire to escape, to search for the way out, and to find his own place in life.

I liked this novel because Holden, in my opinion, stands for young people everywhere. I think that many teenagers have similar problems and worries when they are not sure about their future. There is such a period in the life of every young person when he feels lonely, depressed, and dissatisfied with everything. It seems that no one, even his family, can understand him. To my mind, the novel is a great success with young people because they can find something for themselves and about themselves in it.