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His career as a writer came to a halt as World War II started to unfold. He was unfortunately drafted into the army and ended up devoting two years of life to serving. Despite being involved in war, he still continued to write. It is here where he had the idea to create the character, Holden Caulfield. Though some good came out of his time at war, like the creation of Holden Caulfield, there were also bad lingering effects. After the war was over, he suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
When he was in a mental institution, he was treated for “combat fatigue” (JD Salinger, 2015).
The idea of Holden Caulfield was the start of something truly revolutionary. It was the basis for one of his most famous novels, The Catcher in the Rye. The Catcher in the Rye was banned from schools at one point but some schools now teach it as part of their curriculum. It was originally banned for things such as strong language, sexual references, drinking, and sensitive topics such as suicide.
It is so important for people to read the book for those exact reasons! It’s raw and expresses the real emotions of a teenager. He talked about real problems. He mentioned family problems, not liking school and feeling like he didn’t belong anywhere. Many of the controversial topics talked about in this book aren’t talked about anywhere else in the media. People need to know that these problems are real and need to be acknowledged more! Salinger does a great job at presenting these topics in his work.
His literature is still influential today despite most of his work coming out between the 40s and 60s because of his realness.
Starting in 1953, Salinger became more and more secluded. His last work was published in 1965. For the most part, he was successful in keeping to himself and out of the public eye. However, there were parts of his life that he could not keep a secret. He had many hardships when it came to relationships. He was married to his first wife for a mere eight months. After his first marriage, he met another woman, Claire Douglas. He and Claire were married for ten years before they separated. The divorce with Claire really took a toll on him. She made the divorce very public despite knowing that J. D. prefered to handle business privately.
He did not enjoy the fame or attention that he received. One reason he did not enjoy fame was because of the crazed “fans” it brought. One of these fans was Mark David Chapman. Chapman murdered John Lennon and used the work of Salinger (the Catcher in the Rye) to justify his killing. Salinger never talked about that fateful day.
In The Catcher in The Rye, he states, “… I hope the hell when I do die, somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”
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