The Catcher in the Rye

1 05 2008

The Catcher in the Rye

By J.D. Saliger


This book covers a time span of a few days in the life of Holden Caulfield’s life. He starts off at the school Pencey Prep, a boarding school from which he was just expelled.  After hanging out at the school for several hours and the readers learning about the other characters, Holden decides to leave the school and go home.  After leaving he walks to the train station, which takes him to his home town. From there he decides that going home a little early from school so he goes to a hotel. After this he goes and hangs out around town which includes riding in a taxi and also going to a duck pond. After that he went to a hotel and hired a prostitute that he only talked to and didn’t sleep with. She left with only half the money that he was supposed to pay her and because of this she came back with the man who hired her out, to get the rest of the money that she was owed.  Holden crawled to the bed and fell asleep where he awoke later and left for home to find his parents asleep but woke his sister who talked to him, after which he left and was leaving when his sister stopped him and wouldn’t let him go without her. He managed to leave his house without his sister, and took a cab to go to the duck pond with his red hat that he wore to keep warm.


This book is a very interesting book for the time because of the simplistic style of writing and the subject of the writing. These ideas about Holden hanging out with a prostitute and the inappropriate language used in the text itself are very contrary to how everyday people lived in the fifties.  However these ideas complete the character, and somehow make the reader believe the character and the stress that he is under. Holden does not care about anything, especially school. He has a way with people and a certain manipulative ability.

Why is this book “dangerous?”:

During the fifties, when this book was written the ideas that this book presented went very much against what society at the time believed in. The ideas ranged from keeping up with the Jones and also the baby boomer era which are very similar and were very different from the style of writing which is portrayed in this book. Some of the problems that the public had with this book were things like the language especially, the scene with the prostitute, and some people had a general dislike for Holden’s general outlook on life and how bad it is.




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