Recently we began reading The Catcher in the Rye in my American literature class. This is thonly the second novel of the curriculum I am actually reading, and I can’t put it down!
It is widely considered an American classic. It is also one of the most banned and censored novels in history for it’s sexual themes and language. It also revolutionized literature in the 1950s. Author J.D. Salinger lived an extremely seclusive life and never released the rights to a film adaptation of the novel.
Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon after being inspired by this novel, and it has also been associated with several other assaninations. Clearly it has quite an effect on it’s readers.
The story is told in the first person from the narrator/main character Holden Caulfield. Holden is a 16 year old boy with a very complex psyche. He is very judgemental of others, but it is fun to listen to his thoughts. At times I find him to be hypocritical, and I fear that if we were ever to meet he would not like me.
In a recent Chat-o-rama session, I asked if anyone had read this classic novel, and no one had. I really would like to discuss it with fellow Pixar fans.
So, have you ever read The Catcher in the Rye? Would you consider it a classic of American literature? How has it personally affected your life? Did you like the novel? What are your thoughts on Holden?
I’m currently in Chapter 18 and cannot wait to finish! Please try to use spoilers so as not to ruin the ending fot me or other avid readers that have not yet dived into this novel.
I look forward to the discussion
Yeah, I remember reading it Sophomore year, and to be honest, I didn’t like it! At all! But what happens is that I hate reading books in English class, and then I reread them outside of class later. Since I’m reading it on my own, I dont have to do any essays or reflective questions and then I like the book. So I do plan on rereading this book and giving it a second chance.
The book didn’t change my life, and honestly I thought Holden was annoying. But as I said before, I need to give this book another chance.
I also just read it recently for the first time, and I loved it! It was very different than any other book I’ve read, and made me think of the 50s as a bit more like today than what I’m used to hearing about it. I knew it wasn’t all happy little families driving nice cars and eating really sugary cereals while watching Howdy Doody, but I didn’t realize maybe how relevent it still was. I’m glad the Holden character explored the "fake"ness of people.
I’m glad to see you are going to give it another chance ellie-jessie-eve! I definitely agree; when you are forced to analyze a book in english class it somehow is less enjoyable. I’ve been trying to take a more casual approach to this assignment so that I can actually enjoy the experience.
I agree 1986. I’m kind of in love with the 1950s stereotype, and this novel truly crushes it. In fact, my teacher called this book the “flippin’ destroyer of Leave it to Beaver.”
It is sort of nice that Holden exploits some phonies… but he does it sso much and with almost everyone. It makes me feel like I am leading a conformist life and being a “phony” myself.
It’s one of my favourite books of all time. It’s not crumby at all. I just love everything about it; the way it’s written, the setting, the simple story that manages to capture exactly what it’s like to be a teenager, and Holden himself. If Holden were real, I’d marry him.
I first had to study it in English as well, a few years ago now…I think it’s the first time a book I’ve had to use in class wasn’t ruined for me by the constant over-analysing of it.
Plus there are some amazing laugh-out-loud moments and some of the things that Holden says are just so original and funny that I think he becomes more endearing because of it. You’re right though, love70ways, though I’d say that Holden isn’t hypocritical at times- he’s hypocritical most of the time! It makes him more realistic as a character, because he’s not perfect and not immediately likeable.
Couldn’t stand it. Maybe I would had I any sort of connection to Holden but he’s simply one of the most despised characters I’ve ever met. There was not a single redeeming aspect to him.
Haha lizardgirl, not crumby at all.
I’m sorry you didn’t like the novel Fett101. I certainly can understand how you don’t like Holden.
I haven’t been able to read any more since Friday, but I’m hoping to be able to pick it up again tonight.
I just finished the novel today! I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I found Holden to be much easier to understand and appreciate towards the end. Over all though, I found it to be very thought provoking.
Our final project for the class is to create a new title and cover. I’m pretty excited for this! I really do like the current title, so it will be challenging to come up with a new one.
That book was featured in South Park, which made fun of it due to the claim that reading the book would cause someone to assassinate someone.
That makes sense, considering the number of assanitions/attempts linked to the novel. John Lennon’s is of course the most famous. Ronald Regean’s attempted assasin had a copy of the novel in his hotel room too, I think.
I hope in real life, no one takes the book seriously and kill anyone, although in SP, the Kardashians were killed.
Er, as love70ways just posted, the book has. That fact is the inspiration for the South Park episode.
I read the book a few years ago, and I couldn’t stand it. Then we read it in my english class, and I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it nearly as much as I used to. Maybe because my teacher pointed out all the symbolism as were were going along. I love the setting; I plan on visiting New York one day and taking the same route he did through the streets.
I by no means love the book, but I don’t hate it either. I kinda felt annoyed and sympathetic toward the poor kid at different times. However, I bet no one pictured the story in their head like I did! Since I thought he was annoying at first, all I could picture was Fred from the YouTube videos and movie. I just couldn’t stop picturing him and the voice and character seemed to go together even if it made no sense. So in my head, the whole book I pictured the portrayal and voice of Holden done by Fred! Weird, I know, but interesting book.
I am curious to read it someday. I’d like to.
Easily my least favorite of all the books I had to read in High School.