Catcher in the Rye
Catcher in the Rye by Jerome Salinger is based on a 16 year old young man. The story
takes place in New York where the main character, a seventeen-year-old Holden Caulfield,has
many friends. He was kicked out ofPencey Prep, along with the two other schools before that, and
is afraid to gohome and tell his parents. He wassupposed to leave Pencey Prep on a Wednesday
and finish out the semester andthen go home during Christmas break.Instead he leaves a few days
earlier and ventures out into New YorkCity. The story focused around thepeople he meets and the
places he goes.Throughout the story, Holden has many flashbacks, where he remembers thepast
and tries to make sense of the present using the knowledge he gainedthrough his past experiences.
He visits many actual places such as, Central Park, The American Museum of NaturalHistory, and
the Metropolitan Museum of Art.Holden is an adolescent boy on the edge of adulthood, and he is
justtrying to make sense of his life and where he stands in it.
The literary element characterization played a major role in this novel. In the story there
were not that manywell-developed characters in the story, but Holden were so well developed
youfelt as though you didn’t need the other characters to make the storywork. While reading the
story, it feltas thought the reader were part of the story, hearing the sounds that Holdenheard, and
you felt you were in the same place at the same time. One critic had said, ;quot;A human
beinghad been created out of ink, paper and the imagination.;quot; He was so very well rounded
andthree-dimensional. Also, with him beingthe narrator, you could tell what he was thinking at
every moment. That brought to life the othercharacters. The narrator would tell hisopinions of
them and then the reader could see them the same way Holden wasseeing them, not as if you were
looking at them through your own eyes. The way Holden related situations and eventsto everyday
things in life made things so much clearer to the reader and madeit much easier to understand why
he thought they was he did on certain issues.
The theme of Catcher In The Rye canbe stated in the following statement; life is not
always fair and people arenot always fair, but you should try to make the best of everything.
Holden knew quite a few people, and some ofthem he didn’t like, but he was always nice to them
and never tried to do anythingto intentionally hurt them. Also, whenhe got kicked out of Pencey
Prep, he didn’t get a negative attitude and turnagainst everyone. He just went on withhis life and
moved on doing other things.Also, while in New York City, he wasn’t able to stay in the best
motelsbut he didn’t complain. He tried tomake the best of the situation and stayed in the hotel
room as little aspossible. Holden is the type of personthat would want to be some ones good
friend, with the exception of his badlanguage and drunkard ness, because for the most part he had
a very positiveoutlook on life and people in general.He tried to see the good in people, even when
there wasn’t any to beknown. The way the main character was portrayed in this novel makes you
believethat the theme is mainly just make the best of with what you have. This holds true in the
following statement,the happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything, but theyjust
make the best of everything.