A Review of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Essay

830 Words 4 Pages
When The Catcher in the Rye was first published in 1951, it was ranked number one on the New York Times Best Seller list (Time Magazine). Yet it has been one of the most frequently banned books in schools and libraries. Written in the late 1940’s by J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenage boy, who gets kicked out of boarding school and how he passes the days before returning home ,wandering New York City. Since its publication, it has been a book both adored and ostracized. However, whichever opinion one may have, one cannot deny the mark it made in history. The Catcher in the Rye is a novel that will be remembered throughout the ages for its depiction of post World War II life, both through …show more content…
Despite the fact that Holden has no interest in the theater, he decides to take his date anyway, because it was a common and acceptable event for dating at the time. This exemplifies America’s budding love of movies in addition to theater which began in the World War I era. The Catcher in the Rye also exemplified America’s society in a larger sense. During the time period of the setting, American’s were concerned with the communist threat as well as a society of conformists (Aubrey). Holden, throughout the book, is constantly critical, as well as irritated by the amount of “phonies” in his life. “‘You ought to go to a boy's school sometime. Try it sometime’, I said. ‘It's full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddamn Cadillac some day’,” (Salinger 131). Holden, despite his problems, was a one of a kind hero for the time. He was a hero for those hailing individuality. Although there were people of the time that disliked the book because of this new outspoken individuality, Holden was also a hero for the Americans in need of one then, and today allows new generations to glimpse of what life nearly sixty years ago was like for the “common man”. The Catcher in the Rye not only depicts typical mid twentieth century society but also through the contemporary social reaction. Despite the fact that it was a widely popular story, it quickly went from the number one on the New York Times

Related Documents