The Catcher In The Rye- TERM PAPER

The Catcher In The Rye- TERM PAPER

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It is all Fun and Games until Someone Looses a Rye
     Once is a generation, a book is written that transcends reality and humanity .The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, combines a unique style, controversial theme, and thought provoking main character in this perceptive study of the human condition. This postwar novel protests against the loss of innocence and hypocrisy of the era and is the definitive coming of age novel. Salinger constructs a shocking reality, populated by ‘phonies’ and bursting with falsities- a reality that is all too real.

      The Catcher in the Rye is the story of a young man's understanding of the world he lives in, and the things he encounters (Lomazoff 3). This work is similar to other famous and influential works of the same nature. For example, Maxwell Geismar sums up the novel as “…an eminently readable and quotable [novel] in its tragicomic narrative of preadolescent revolt. Compact, taut, and colorful, the first half presents in brief compass all then petty horrors, the banalities, the final mediocrity of the American prep school” (Geismar 195). Holden can not understand the purgatory of Pency prep, and futilely escapes from one dark world into darker world of New York City. The second half of the novel raises the intriguing questions and incorporates the deeper meaning of the work (Geismar). Holden sits on the cusp of adulthood, tethering dangerously close to his fate and reality and The Catcher in the Rye is the story of his journey into the adult world. In addition, this novel is similar to other famous works of the same nature. Salinger emulates elements of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Like Huck Finn, The Catcher in the Rye is the story of a young man’s journey into adulthood. Holden journeys into the human condition, Huck likewise seeks out human nature. Huck, like Holden, hates hypocrisy, and fells the need to search for integrity. Similarly, both works start out the same way. Their simple exposition of location and scope draws in the mind, and fastens it securely to the page. Holden’s opening speech is merely a modernized and adapted version of Huck’s. Holden Caulfield strikes many readers as an urbanized version of Huck Finn (Lomazoff 3). In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, things Price Hamlet cannot control dominate his thoughts and life. ...


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...universal meaning of the novel has won over even the most stubborn censors. Critics love this novel, and praise the author. Burger admires the theme, style, diction, and the issues raised in his review for The New York Times (Burger). Smith praises the adolescent nature, magic of the novel, and psychoanalysis of teens in the Saturday Review of Literature (Smith). Both men understand the motivation of Salinger, and respectfully praise his coming-of age masterpiece. This unusually brilliant novel withstood the critics before angry censors.
     The Catcher in the Rye is universally appealing as a coming of age novel. Holden Caulfield is the ultimate protagonist, and stands for everything that is good within the human spirit. The Catcher in the Rye raises questions that are of epic proportions, and masterfully allows the scholar to interpret an individual answer. Perhaps Holden is too raunchy, perverse, or mentally unstable to be a hero; yet his human side and flaws are what seem to be his most idiosyncratic and admirable traits. Holden Caulfield, this modern Huckleberry Finn, reminds everyone of how bad growing up feels but never makes us feel sorry for it.

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