By: Supriya Khadka
If you're looking for a good read narrated by a brutally honest teenager trying to transition from childhood to adulthood, I've got just the book for you. J.D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye', set in the 1950s in New York City, revolves around a 16-year-old Holden Caulfield, who gets expelled from school and is scared to face his parents. The thing I like best about this novel is that the protagonist is sincere despite all his claims of being ‘the most terrific liar you have ever seen’. It will not take you much time to figure out that our protagonist is not the most decisive narrator. Did you just ask 'Why?' Well, all the more reason to read it yourself, eh? After you do decide to read it, you can just sit back and enjoy Holden’s quest for the meaning of adulthood.
Holden Caulfield is naïve and yet opinionated. Despite his cocky and erratic behavior, you will find yourself agreeing with him time and again. Holden loves his family, but he doesn’t like them all the time. He thinks he is ready to make his own decisions, but he has no clue about what is going on in his life. Holden is not just a fictional character. He is someone you know. He can be your neighbor, your classmate, your best friend, your sibling or even YOU. He is dissatisfied and has questions about the world, like the rest of us. Although he thinks that he was born to serve a higher purpose, he is scared to face the world, like every one of us. He is funny but frightened; befuddled but inquisitive; uninterested but considerate. Holden Caulfield is a meticulously crafted character, and you will see some part of him in you no matter which background you are from.
'The Catcher in the Rye’ was written way back in 1951 but still captures the confusion, anger, and naivety of any adolescent in 2020. Although the book revolves around the life of an adolescent, it will feel relatable in every phase of life. The book raises questions and gives you insights on the things that you never thought you would need. It makes you believe that you are not alone in your frustrations. It allows you to think about the few things you love when you feel like you are not capable of loving anything. It is a simple coming-of-age story of an exasperated teenager, who is not ready to be of age.
Whenever you feel like falling into a pit of despair, you can pick up ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, and it will talk you down. Have fun reading!
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