"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
The Catcher in the Rye
Is "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, good literature? I have carefully
considered this question and after much analysis I have come to a conclusion. I believe
that "The Catcher in the Rye" is definitely an example of good literature, because it has a
believable and fast moving plot, and it has vivid, colorful descriptions; and the point of
view that the story is written in allows the reader to better understand Holden\'s mind.
J.D. Salinger does a very complete job in describing Holden, the main character.
The point of view (Holden\'s point of view) that the book is written from gives the reader a
clear picture of Holden\'s personality. With this writing style the reader can actually read
what actions Holden is taking, and what he is thinking and feeling in his head, at the same
time. Parts in the book that would otherwise be hard to understand, are much clearer
because of this perspective.
One example of this is on page 170. In this passage, the reader is introduced to a
potentially important character who seems to play an important role in the meaning of the
story. Holden is asked, by his little sister Phoebe, to name one thing that he really likes.
Holden tries to think of something, but all he can think about is this boy James Castle
(who committed suicide by jumping out a window), and two nuns he met during his
travels. Without a view into Holden\'s mind, the reader would have been confused about
what was actually going on. The book would also have been much more boring to the
reader without seeing Holden\'s attitudes and reactions to other characters.
The plot of The Catcher in the Rye is very original and creative. It provides a
realistic look into the mind of a sixteen year old boy. The reader follows Holden\'s
adventures during several days, as he wanders about New York City. Holden meets and
observes many strange characters throughout his travels. Each character does its share in
making Holden more and more depressed. A large amount of Holden\'s depression comes
from his great love of the children world, and his belief that he has to protect them from
the evils of the adult world (which he, himself is only just entering). The more Holden
sees adults and how they behave, the more he resents them, and feels that they are
poisoning the minds of their children. He has strong opinions about adults, he believes
that most of them are phonies and only care for themselves. A very good example of this
begins on page 201. Holden is at Phoebe\'s school when he sees that someone wrote
"F#ck you" on a wall in the office. It drives him nearly out of his mind to see that
someone would pollute the environment of elementary school kids. He rubs it off, but on
his way out he is confronted with yet another "F#ck you". He cannot rub this one out
because it is scratched into the paint. This really upsets him because he finally realizes that
he cannot be "The Catcher in the Rye", he cannot save all the children in the world from
falling off the cliff into adulthood.
My third example is the vivid and incredibly descriptive details that Salinger
incorporates. The descriptions are so realistic that the reader feels as if he or she is there.
This makes it much easier for the reader to understand Holden\'s actions. All of Holden\'s
surroundings are so dark and gloomy, that it is not surprising that he is so depressed.
Holdens environment is essential for J.D. Salinger to make his point clear. An example is
on page 7, Holden visits the home of Mr. Spencer, his former history teacher. The
description is as follows. " The minute I went in, I was sort of sorry I\'d come. He was
reading the Atlantic Monthly, and there were pills and medicine all over the place, and
everything smelled like Vicks Nose Drops. It was pretty depressing. I\'m not to crazy
about sick people anyway, what made it even more depressing, old Spencer had on this
very sad, ratty old bathrobe that he was probably born in or something. I don\'t much like
to see old guys in their pajamas and bathrobes anyway. Their bumpy old chests are always
showing. And their legs. Old guys\' legs, at beaches and places, always look so white and
unhairy." Without this description of Mr. Spencer and his home, the
View Full Essay
Literary realism, The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger, Holden, Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye in popular culture, Holden Caulfield
More Free Essays Like This