Paper type: Essay Pages: 6 (1348 words)
“People never notice anything. ” (Salinger, 9) The novel «The Catcher in the Rye» has been rejected by magazine “New-Yorker” which earlier had published six stories by J. Salinger including two of the most popular: “A Perfect Day for Banana Fish” – in 1948 and “For Esme – With Love and Squalor”- in 1950. When editors read the novel, they have flatly refused to publish a fragment from it. They have explained to Salinger that it seems, that the author tells a history not so much, how many shows his own refinement.
By then the publishing house has already refused the other Salinger’s novel with which the writer had preliminary arrangement also.
One of the editors, Eugene Reinal, has won doubtful glory, having complained, that cannot understand in any way that lunatic Caulfield. Later Salinger has presented the book in publishing house “Little Brown “. Editor-in-chief John Vudbern has reasonably refrained from questions about mental health of the hero. The novel has been published in July, 1951, since then it has been sold more than sixty millions copies.
Each generation is disappointed in its own way and in its own way gives vent to the discontent in creativity.
For many Americans, evolved in the fiftieth years, the novel «The Catcher in the Rye» embodies the essence of this mood. Holden Caulfield for them is a king of grief. People usually get acquainted with the book «The Catcher in the Rye» when they are fourteen, according to adults – parents or teachers, – which also read it at this age because they were advised by their parents or teachers. Differently, the book finds new readers not because teenagers open her it for themselves that is why that the adults who have read the novel in the childhood, give it him to read to their children.
The secret of its unfading popularity also consists in it. The book where the author with sympathy draws a portrait of the teenager who doesn’t not wish to adapt to a society became for many adults the standard tool of social adaptation of teenagers (to tell the truth, at other conservative schools this book till now is forbidden). It is accepted to think, that youth likes «The Catcher in the Rye» because reading about its main hero they learn to find out themselves. Salinger has supposedly stated in his book what each teenager – no matter how sensitive and smart he is- a teenager belonging to middle class does not dare to tell aloud.
It is considered, that reading of «The Catcher in the Rye» – all this is the same as for the first time to see yourself in a mirror. But to think so means to underestimate originality of the book. All emotional complexity of teenage age consists in that that you do not know, why you feel unfortunate angry or lonely. Attractiveness of the novel «The Catcher in the Rye» consists in that there are weighty reasons in this novel for these feelings. Emotions are filled with sense. Holden speaks as a teenager, so it seems that he thinks as a teenager.
But similarly to all wise children in Salinger’s works, Holden thinks as an adult. Hardly probable is that other children can judge people so clearly and ruthlessly. Holden prepares characters with devil accuracy. The secret of Holden’s success as story-teller is that he leaves nothing without comments. He always speaks about what readers are interested in. But the editors of “New-Yorker” were right: Holden is not a typical teenager. He is some kind of prodigy child. When Salinger wrote the book, he did not expect in any way, that his book will be included in lists of the literature for 9th grade pupils.
In fact Holden is unhappy not because people are pretenders but people are pretenders because he is unhappy. His attitude to people is irreconcilable and sharp for the same reason on which the feelings of Hamlet are sharp and irreconcilable because of melancholy. The image of Holden always correlated with truth, assumes, that he possesses instinctive moral genius – as well as Hamlet. But his opinion according to which all the world is depreciated, is a normal feeling of the person at which someone has died close. The life starts to seem pity attempt to forget about death, all loses sense.
What has led Salinger to this plot? The most part of the novel «The Catcher in the Rye» it is written already after war and though Salinger is strange for counting « the military writer », most of his biographers believe that exactly war has made Salinger to be Salinger, has painted his satire bitterness, has shaded his humor full of grief. The book incorporates many themes: love, freedom, loneliness, and other. Caulfield’s youthful intolerance also draws, invincibly draws reader’s hearts. It is not surprising, that Holden greedy searches though for any outlet, thirsts human heat, participation and understanding.
It appears that Holden can’t find anything really positive for himself. He can find only symbolical formula of the aspirations. He imagines a huge field of rye, where children play. And he is the unique adult on this field. He is unique who can rescue and rescues children from falling in a precipice. The author strictly follows the logic of Holden’s character , only bringing him to searches of the answer to the damned questions, but searches will appear only in Salinger’s later products together with more adult heroes.
At the end of the novel it becomes especially clear, that to the big world Holden can oppose the world of children only which besides need to be protected from adults. Children – a subject of special attention of Salinger and in many other works by him. They are not spoiled yet. Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield take a journey into self-discovery. In “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, Huck Finn is trying to find purpose and identity through conflicting morals. While Holden Caulfield in “Catcher in the Rye”, is an adolescent struggling to find maturity and manhood. In comparison, they are both on a journey towards maturity and identity.
Life itself is a journey full of bonding and experiences which leads to wisdom and understanding. Huck Finn is a young boy deciding which morals to follow. The quest for what’s right is long and confusing. During his adventure he is forced to choose between his morals and his conscience. When Huck runs into the bounty hunters he is forced to make one of these decisions. He must choose whether to turn in his run-away slave friend, Jim, as his conscience advises or to trust his morals and protect his friend in need. Fortunately, his will is strong and he creates an elaborate lie to prevent Jim’s capture.
Huck seeks refuge in nature, where right and wrong don’t exist and life’s beauty is what is truly important. He mentions that nature is peaceful and he need not worry about either his morality or conscience but is allowed to ponder these personal discrepancies. Holden Caulfield, however, has a much more complex yet equally important struggle. His struggle is of his own hypocrisy and misunderstanding. This struggle can be overwhelming for some and it is for Holden who requires help to come to terms with maturity. Even though he is constantly speaking as if he is experienced in connection and bonding, they were always just facades.
Holden thinks he is superior to his environment because he has a false knowledge of it and its workings. This is best explained by his reaction to his old friend June with whom he would like to have a meaningful relationship but can’t come to grips on how to go about it.. In spite of his appearance of worldliness, he is really a “faker”, a type that he despises. Both Huck and Holden must complete their own journeys to become complete individuals. This journey is only a step on the staircase of life which ultimately leads to inner-peace and happiness. Each experience is unique and powerful but are essential to getting the whole picture.
Cite this page
Identity crisis. (2017, Apr 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/identity-crisis-essay