One of the most controversial American Literature books, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, went into full turbulence and had all the attention of critics everywhere during its release in 1951. Holden Caulfield, a New York City teenager in the 1950’s with manic-depression is the protagonist, is a protagonist unlike any other in coming-of-age novels. What most critics don’t realize is that his actions are exactly those of a depressed teenager would endure: being an immature compulsive liar who is manic-depressive. The over-saturation from technology into the 21st century does not separate the direct similarities of teens today and those twenty to thirty years ago. Today’s teenagers being “less complex,” “confused,” “anxiety ridden,” or any of the such shouldn’t be ignored. Salinger writes to reveal Holden’s foible of his constant struggle of being a teenager as well as giving a voice to teenagers during any era.
The death of a person very close to Holden made him feel as if he was disconnected to the rest of the world and made him think that Allie was with him when he wasn't, making him an clear victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Catcher in the Rye can be an eye opener to parents, children and even doctors around the world, showing how destructive these illnesses can be to a teenager's life if they are not diagnosed and given help to cope with the illness. The continuation of research about these diseases and possible treatments or cures can help many people get the resources they need so they can live life to the fullest.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, in the U.S. alone, 5.5 million teens suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, which is approximately 4% of teenage boys and 6% of teenage girls. PTSD is a mental health disorder triggered by a traumatic event, in a person’s life and causes depression, anger and loneliness along with aggression, out-of-place sexual behavior, self-harm, abuse of drugs or alcohol, low self-worth, and not being able to trust others. Although only a small number of people are diagnosed with PTSD, most people have felt the effects of at least one of its symptoms in some way after a traumatic incident in their life. Consequently, a literary character that is experiencing many of these symptoms is easy to relate to for many readers due to the fact that they understand what the character is going through. One stellar example of a character displaying the majority of the symptoms of PTSD is Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Because of Holden’s timeless struggles, along with the novel’s historical setting and important life lessons, Catcher in the Rye is a crucial book for high school students to read.
Everyone’s mother always told them that childhood innocence is the best thing in the world, but for Holden it is the world. When reading The Catcher in the Rye some people disdain Holden, because they think he’s cynical and immature, but really he is a representation of us all. Unlike other books, the protagonist isn’t someone you want to be friends with, it’s someone you realize you are. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is Holden’s chronicle of running away from his boarding school and living on his own in New York City. While there, he meets interesting people that he calls phony but in reality reflect characteristics of himself and the appalling qualities of the culture he lives in. At first he’s pessimistic towards everyone and everything but by the last scene, when he’s watching his sister on a merry go round, he does a complete 180 and starts feeling better, the sun comes out from behind the clouds and it’s a new and better Holden. It’s this last scene that sets the stage for the future of Holden. He changes in a good way, now less cynical and more open minded, a better and healthier person.
Childhood is crucial to the lives of teenagers and young adults. The experiences, advice, influences that people receive during their formative years is what they carry with them through the rest of their lives. Any emotional turmoil during this period of growth can have serious implications on individuals as they grow older. The book, The Catcher in the Rye, and the movie, Good Will Hunting; tell about the lives of two emotionally troubled young men: Holden and Will. Both of them suffer from emotional blockades in life that are rooted in their childhoods. They both are afraid to connect with others, have little self-value, and little motivation. These complications that Holden and Will face as they mature and grow up affect them in similar ways. Through the encouragement of unexpected mentors Will Hunting and Holden Caulfield, both capable individuals, learn to dismiss the fear of attachment and overcome their disillusioned youths.
Teenagers in this generation have started finding the voice that Holden had not found to speak out for their different opinion and their viewpoints. Holden’s feelings of isolation and lack of understanding of death and mortality makes him vulnerable to the overall theme of mental instability and how society’s rules are meant to broken and questioned instead of being followed through
Holden Caulfield, portrayed in the J.D. Salinger novel Catcher in the Rye as an adolescent struggling to find his own identity, possesses many characteristics that easily link him to the typical teenager living today. The fact that the book was written many years ago clearly exemplifies the timeless nature of this work. Holden's actions are those that any teenager can clearly relate with. The desire for independence, the sexually related encounters, and the questioning of ones religion are issues that almost all teens have had or will have to deal with in their adolescent years. The novel and its main character's experiences can easily be related to and will forever link Holden with every member of society, because everyone in the world was or will be a teen sometime in their life.
The controversy that has arisen from this book also became clear after reading it. Holden has an overall negative attitude about everything and the way he lives his life. Also, his being kicked from colleges numerous times doesn’t set a good example either.
The admiration that Holden holds for certain characters is well expressed. Especially about his younger brother Allie, who is spoken remarkably of. Allie’s death was a shocking experience that Holden goes through, in his eyes, Allie has inspired him before and even after his death. One of the most important elements throughout the book was Allie’s glove, as...
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden’s outlook in life is either the innocence of childhood or the cruelty of adulthood. He believes that the innocence of childhood is very valuable and it should be protected from the cruelty and phoniness of the adult world. Therefore Holden has a desire and is compelled to protect a child’s innocence at all costs. This is revealed when Holden tells Phoebe that he wants to be the catcher in the rye. Holden says to Phoebe, “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they’re ru...