F. Salinger 's The Catcher Of The Rye

1121 Words Jun 17th, 2015 5 Pages
One of the best known novels in English-speaking countries, J.D Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye deals with Holden Caulfield’s past trauma which is the triggering factor in his depression, anxiety and alienation. Holden tells an unnamed person what has happened in the three days prior to his mental breakdown. Through Holden’s relatable characteristics and Salinger’s narrative treatment, the book continues to engage audiences across generations. The way that Salinger writes gives the audience a very personal and insightful look into what Holden is feeling. It’s told in the first person, in a confessional style, and utilises digression. This creates a sense of closeness with the protagonist. It’s like Holden is talking directly to the reader. Salinger’s use of stream of consciousness also makes it feel like it really is coming from the mind of a seventeen-year-old boy:
“I mean girls should smell a certain way - like baby powder, new clothes and perfume … I hate Old Spice … Christ, I must be nuts. All of a sudden I start to imagine myself as the old sailor …”
Holden’s character still engages audiences in the 21st century because he deals with the problems that adolescents still face - like rebellion, sexuality and the loss of innocence. The novel doesn’t feel outdated at all, even though it was written in a very different time. One of the main focuses of the book is Holden’s alienation from other people, which I think stems from his traumatic past. The loss of his brother…
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