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Controversy in Catcher in the Rye

Controversy in "Catcher in the Rye"

In this novel, the author creates Holden Caulfield, a boy that is the world’s ‘punching bag’, and illustrates his difficult life through presenting his failures clearly to the reader. Salinger shows that Holden has had a ‘deprived’ childhood by explaining to the reader that Holden’s beloved brother Allie died at a young age. Holden still has not gotten over this unfathomable loss. Another way the author shows Holden’s depravity is by making the parents look as if they are not part of his life. Holden does not have a good relationship with his parents and this is presented very clearly in the novel. This novel is predominantly about showing Holden’s attempts at achieving his goals in life only to fall flat on his face to fail. A first time reader of The Catcher in the Rye might not know what to think after reading the novel. It is not the typical novel. The Catcher in the Rye, a controversial novel by J.D. Salinger, is a work of fiction that proves itself commendable through its strong use of symbolism, its modernist themes, and significant use of characterization.

This novel, considered to be a well-constructed piece of fiction, is known to have a very complex structure; it has three parts of the plot that make up this structure. Showing Holden Caulfield’s life at school makes up the first part of this structure; his escape to New York in search for sexual escapade is the second. The third and final part of the structure is his collapse, backward into childhood, and unknowingly into insanity. Holden’s life at school is shown as him being a ‘loner’. First of all, when everyone from the school is at the football game, Holden is in his room. He says that everyone is supposed to be there, and if they lost you were supposed to commit suicide or something. Holden not taking any part in the ‘important’ things of school shows his rejection of society. He is aggravated by the beliefs of the people who are his leaders. They believe life is a game. Holden can’t understand the concept that life is nothing more than a game. “Game my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hotshots are, then it’s a game, all right – I’ll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there...

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Category:   Catcher in the Rye

Length:   10 pages (2,161 words)

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