Catcher In The Rye Analysis

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From the outset, I have to say that “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger has been one of the most important and influential pieces of literature I have ever read. At its core, the book is a superb coming of age novel which discusses several extremely powerful themes such as the difficulties of growing up, teenage angst and alienation and the superficiality, hypocrisy and pretension of the adult world. These themes resonated deeply with me and were portrayed excellently through the use of powerful symbolism and the creation of highly relatable and likable characters. One such character is Holden Caulfield whom the story both revolves around and is narrated by. The novel is set in 1950’s New York and although Holden is not specific about his current location, from the context we can glean that he is writing his story from a mental institution of some sort. The story is told as a flash-back as Holden recounts the days that follow his expulsion from “Prencey Prep”, the private school which he attends. After getting into a fight with his roommate, Stradlater, Holden decides to leave school several days earlier than he is expected back home for winter break, venturing into New York City. Holden spends a total of two days in the city and these days are spent for the most part wandering around the city and encountering strange places, people and situations. Throughout the course of the novel, Holden is constantly attempting to find somebody who is willing to both listen and

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