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The Catcher in the Rye

Ever since the publication in 1951, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye has served as the firestorm for controversy and debate. This book is a graphic depiction of the human condition, making it enlightening, yet incredibly depressing. The main character, Holden Caulfield, is one from many of Salinger’s short stories that were periodicals. But in the novel, Holden is presented to the reader infirst person narrative, which is critical in helping the reader to know and understand him.The theme in this book, like many of Salinger’s work, is the passage of adolescence; (Lomazoff 1) but the theme can also be derived from the title of the book.Both internal and external conflicts plague the protagonist who, at the end, suffers a nervous breakdown: his giving into the phoniness of the world.This book is one that will stand the test of time, because the reader can relate to the idealism and realism of the main character (Lieder 2.)
The main criticism of this book has to deal with the adolescence and repetitive nature of Holden Caulfield. That in the course of this lengthy novel, the reader may go weary of a character like Holden.”Holden was not quite so sensitive and perceptive as he and his creator thought he was.”Holden is so completely self-centered than any other characters that wandered through the book, with the exception of Holden’s sister; Phoebe, who had no authenticity at all.Holden is something of an over-developed character, basically describing his life in detail in the beginning of the book.The author fails in this novel to address other characters with as much detail as Holden (Goodman 20). This is due in part to the fact that Holden tells his own story and also to the idea that the story told by Holden Caulfield would never describe others, as he speaks only of himself (Lomazoff 4).
Holden, tells the story in a narrative flashback, during a sullen period of his life, three days and nights alone…

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