Analysis of JD Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye'

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Analysis of JD Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" J. D. Salinger wanted to write a story, that many believe is at least partially autobiographical, about the angst of being a teen age boy trying to navigate the transition between adolescence and adulthood. The story has been a constant in lists about the best American novels written in the twentieth century, and it has received much criticism also. It is not that people do not believe that Caulfield would have cussed as much as he does or that he would not have been exploring the sexual feelings that he did, rather people are shocked, it seems, by the stark reality of the novel. Salinger shows the character Caulfield as someone who has had a very trying experience that has damaged him for the past year. He is trying to explain to the reader why he is in the position in which he finds himself. Holden does not seem to be asking for forgiveness or understanding, as much as he is just telling a story. Caulfield seems to be an angry young man because his life has not turned out as he had hoped. His life has snowballed into something that seems unreal to him, but at the same time is much too real. The fact that he is relating the story from a hospital bed demonstrates how far he has fallen. This paper examines the events told in Caulfield's story to determine the true meaning behind what he says, and determine why he is the angry youth he seems to be. Anger is a common feeling for someone in their late teens. The boy is

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