The Catcher and The Rye

Rachel LaRoche
English 10-D
Book Review December 14, 1996
The Catcher In The Rye

The Catcher In The Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, is a fictional novel that was first published in 1965. The novel takes place in New York City and in Pennsylvania over a duration of four days. This novel tells the story of an emotionally disturbed teenager who has been kicked out of a boarding school. The story is told from the point of view of a teenager who is the narrator of the story.
The main character in this novel is Holden Caulfield. He is sixteen years old and serves as the narrator of this novel. Holden does not like anybody or anything around him. He is an emotionally troubled kid and has many problems with his life. Phoebe is Holden’s little sister. She is ten years old and lives at home with their parents. Phoebe really admires and loves her big brother, Holden.
This novel begins when Holden is in a mental hospital in California. The novel is a flashback of the events over a time period of four days. The flashback starts off when Holden gets kicked out of his boarding school, Pency Prep, because he is failing most of his classes. Holden decides to go into New York City for a couple of days until his parents will be expecting him home for Christmas vacation. Holden goes to bars and meets with friends during this time. On the third night, Holden decides to go and visit his sister, Phoebe. Phoebe is one of the only people that Holden actually loves. Holden talks

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to Phoebe about his life being a failure. He is trying to understand life and his place in the world. Holden decides that he wants to go see Mr. Antolini, an old teacher, to help him
get a better understanding of his life. At Mr. Antolini’s home, Holden discusses many of the problems that he is facing. Mr. Antolini tells Holden that he has to learn not to hate everyone around him. He has to learn to love people. Holden is told that he has to think about his future. He has to decide when he is going to start to take life seriously and apply himself in school. Holden’s conversation with Mr. Antolini is the climax of the novel. This is the point of the novel when Holden starts to listen and understand his problems. He realizes that it is time he put his life back on the right track. The next day, Holden returns home to his family. Holden is taken directly to a mental hospital in California. The hospital is where Holden is before the flashback.
Holden was a very true-to-life character. Holden’s problems are similar to many teenagers of today. A lot of teenagers do not know what they want in life just like Holden. Holden has many problems in school similar to the probelms other kids have in school. Mr. Antolini says to Holden, “Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now.” (189). His statement is an example that shows that Holden is not the only person in the world with these problems. Their problems might not be as severe as Holden’s, but they are similar. Many teenagers don’t know what they want to do in the future just like Holden. Holden is a very true-to-life character, because his problems relate to the problems of many young people today.

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The reader of this novel might dislike some of the actions and find them to be unrealistic. It is unrealistic that a sixteen year old kid would go to New York City for four days by himself with no one worrying about where he is. In real life, most kids would not
have the money to go into New York City for four days. A normal school would contact the parents if the child was expelled. Therefore, the parents will know that the kid is coming home and the kid will not be able to go off on his own for four days without supervision. This novel had some actions in it that just would not happen in real life.