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Book report for the catcher in the rye - Essay Example

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Summary
Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is a novel about seventeen year-old Holden Caufield, the narrator, speaking from a mental institution where he is recovering from a nervous breakdown. He narrates the events that led to his condition and hospitalization. The story begins…
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Book report for the catcher in the rye

Download file to see previous pages... In many ways, the life of the main character, Holden, resembles that of Salinger. For example, just like Holden, Salinger had a difficult school life that was mainly characterized by poor performance. Also, Salinger lived a lonely quite life, which may be considered similar to that of Holden.
The book criticizes the 1950’s culture through Holden. It highlights societal attitudes of ignorance to human conditions. It is the phony nature of Holden’s society that leads him to a nervous breakdown. At the beginning of the novel, Holden describes Pencey as phony. He sees most people surrounding him as phony. On his last evening at Pencey, he picks a fight with his roommate, Stradlater. He is offended by the idea that his roommate gets romantically involved with Jane Gallagher, one of Holden’s ex-girlfriends who he still admires. Holden feels that Stradlater is taking advantage of Jane, and picks a fight. The fight prompts him to leave Pencey immediately. He sets off by midnight and takes a train to New York City. On arrival, he checks into Edmond Hotel and spends two nights there. While there, he is mostly drunken and lonely. One of his most memorable experiences was with a prostitute whom he paid without getting her services. The prostitute turned out to be unsatisfied and came back for more money. He later meets his Carl Luce, and old acquaintance and Sally Hayes, his on-and-off girlfriend. Both meetings leave him more lonely. He later sneaks into his parents’ house to visit Phoebe, his kid sister whom he’s more comfortable around. Talking to Phoebe brightens him up and he heads to visit Mr. Antolini, his ex-English teacher. He wakes up to find Mr. Antolini petting his head in a perverted way, which upsets him. His view of his society as phony heightens as he walks around his kid sister’s school and he keeps seeing swear words. He visions himself as the Catcher in the rye – the guardian of children. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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