The Catcher in the Rye Study Guide

The Catcher in the Rye Study Guide

Original title:
The Catcher in the Rye
Published January 30th 2001 by Back Bay Books (first published July 16th 1951)
New York City, New York,1949(United States)
Agerstown, Pennsylvania,1949(United States)
ISBN 0316769177 (ISBN13: 9780316769174)

For an offspring of a wealthy Family, Jerome David Salinger didn’t go through a very typical career path. He went to many colleges, but didn’t finish any of them. After that he chose for a military career and combined it with his writing talent. He managed to stir the trouble with his works that are still being mentioned in the context of literature censorship and ethics.

“The Catcher in the Rye” is his only novel that even after being recognized by Times as one of the great book heritage doesn’t have a univocal opinion about it from world critics. The writer continues to explore the motives of the novel in his later stories, which turned out to be more appreciated then.

The background of the book is set against the post World War II society that has suffered emotionally, nevertheless, the economy is on the rise and life goes on. The main character, Holden Caulfield, is seeking mental help at the hospital. The life he is used to is falling apart, but he doesn’t seem to regret it. He is impatient with life, yet he has time to wonder about things we all let go unnoticed (such as where the ducks from the park lake hide for the cold times).

A writer in the army managed to describe to the very detail the tendency of a young generation to separate themselves from others, to live the life according to their own internal compass, to have the right not to fit into the established norms. In the society that has very little tolerance for differences and aberrations, having a choice to fail is not an option even when you live in the free world.

Just like any great book that has lived through the literature memory for centuries, “Catcher in the Rye” was condemned at first. No wonder why – with teen’s sexuality, social violence, rough language and abnormal behavior it is easy to be turned off by the book. But at the same time it’s hard to put it down – the book is definitely great and worth reading.

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