Catcher In The Rye, Education, Life Stages, Acceptance

'Catcher in the rye' is nothing but another amazing literary feat

I did nothing but hate this book, that is, until I finally understood its meaning.

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I'm not going to lie: getting through this book took multiple long nights, multiple cups of coffee and multiple prayers to the man above that Holden Caulfield's whiny voice would soon shut up.

I didn't enjoy reading this book in any sense of the word only a couple months ago as I sat in my literature class. As another book assigned to us, I saw it as that—an assignment; another time restraint on my confusing schedule and another grade in the grade book.

A nuisance.

Once the end of the unit came around, I made sure I reread summaries and understood the general gist of the novel while I celebrated in my head. But once it finally came, the final day, I vividly remember my teacher, as she saw all the arms raised in the room who disliked the book, saying that anyone who had raised their hand to reread it once more over the summer and reflect again. Naturally, I only brushed it off.

Yet, here I was four months later, the beaten and battered book in my hands once again.

What drives scholars to love the book is its underlying themes of the passage into adulthood and emphasis on our deemed "societal norms" through Holden Caulfield's drawn- out teenage rebellion. Unlike classical literature, the book doesn't take a third person stance on these issues nor recites page after page of imagery. In fact, we, the readers, learn of Holden's struggles and his reactions to them through his own commentary. The book thus resembles a diary of sorts of Holden's transformation from wanting to forever stay a child into accepting his new life stage as becoming an adult. The whining I loathed so much while in school became one of the most important reasons why I love the book now.

"Catcher In The Rye" is the physical manifestation of Holden's own mind, and is as a result, is confusing and twisting and turning at points that seem unfitting to the narration through his frequent digressions and wandering. However, from a second reading, I realized that this is exactly what J. D. Salinger had wanted his book to sound and feel like. He wanted confusion, both emotional and maturity extremes, as well as sophisticated sections working together to help the reader understand not what the physical problems were around Holden, but to understand his conflicting teenage and adult mentality being at such a crucial part in his life. "Catcher In The Rye" is the story of Holden fighting against himself, and through his own narration, we are able to put ourselves in his shoes to see his seemingly bleak world through his eyes. All he wants to do is to be that catcher in the rye field to help kids from falling into adulthood.

From this perspective, I now understand J. D. Salinger's almost disappointing ending. The story told in this book was not a romance, nor comedy nor depressing read— it was the story of a boy coming to terms with his new life through his own adventures and interactions with others around him. It's not meant to be a fun journey because life isn't always fun. J. D. Salinger made sure that at the times that Holden was hurt, angry, or sad at the world, we felt betrayed as well creating such an accurate portrayal of the childish to mature mentality progression. Instead of skimming through pages of lengthy descriptions of flowers or a character's surroundings, I found myself looking deeper into Holden's rambles, reading every word and noting every shift. Holden survived through a messy journey and finally came to terms with accepting himself; I followed behind and became reflective as to where I am now.

In all, this book was a fresh breath of air into looking into the mindset of a teenager to see their perspective on the world at their crucial moment of accepting themselves as an adult. It is the only book I know that has been able to show the teenage perspective as close as it is to real life, being brutal, blunt, messy, and reflective all at the same time.

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How To Stop Being The Toxic Person That You Would Normally Cut Out Of Your Own Life

It's so much easier to pin a problem on someone else than it is to look deep within yourself and take responsibility for the things that you've done. But that's all part of growing up.

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I'm sure you've heard it before...

"Cut someone out of your life if they negatively impact your mental health."

"You need to cut off friends, family, anyone that is bad for you and your future."

"You will be so much better off once _____ is gone from your life."

At this point in your life, you've probably cut off one or more people who you believed weren't good for you. You were prioritizing yourself, and that meant letting go of someone, regardless of the memories, bond, and love that you had for them. It was probably difficult, but somewhere down the line, you knew that you did what was best for you. And you stood by that decision.

But how many times have you been the problem?

How many times have you sat down and took the time to analyze a situation, only to come to the conclusion that YOU'RE the one that's messing up? And that if you changed x, y, and z, you could save or help your relationship with your friend, family member, or significant other.

Probably not very often.

It's so much easier to pin a problem on someone else than it is to look deep within yourself and take responsibility for the things that you've done. But that's all part of growing up. At some point, I hope you realize that you weren't so perfect either, after all. And when you do, this is what I want you to think about:

We all go through different phases of our lives, and it's okay to understand and acknowledge that this phase doesn't represent the best version of yourself. Character development isn't a strict upward slope, where you start off being a shitty, underdeveloped, immature person, but then progress into being an angel. There are going to be ups and downs. There are going to be moments where you're really disappointed in yourself, and can't believe that you let yourself slip up to that degree. We all have flaws, we all make mistakes. But also all have so much potential.

As long as you're willing to put in the effort to change (because everyone around you deserves that), then you're on the right track. And I'm proud of you for having the emotional maturity to self reflect and be better. That's the first step.

And the next step is going to involve putting everything you're saying into practice. I can't promise you that it's going to be easy. And I can't promise you that you're going to drastically permanently change overnight. If I did, I would be lying. But what I can promise you is that everything you're going to do will be worth it in the long run. I hope that's enough of a reason to dig deep for a new you.

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The Top 3 Things I Learned This Summer About Clean Eating

Clean eating is one of the most essential parts of self-care for transforming your life because it completely acknowledges your biological human nature.

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This summer was a journey and a learning experience for me regarding clean eating. Throughout the school year, I had always planned to change my eating habits and form a new, cleaner diet. I never got around to it with exams and stress, so I put this self-improving task in the back of my mind to follow through with on the first day of summer.

When the first day of summer came, I did not procrastinate and began my journey. After taking multiple trips to my local supermarket, seeing countless recipes, and demolishing cravings, I had learned valuable lessons that will encompass my life, and I will be mindful of them whenever I eat. To understand the differences and shift in my thinking from before making a conscious effort to eat well, I should state the primary goals I had before starting. My previous goal was simply to look leaner and were physical in nature.


1. Eating dictates energy.

It only makes sense that our biological human bodies thrive off of the energy our minds give it. This energy comes from food, obviously. We have more energy when we give our digestive system a "break" or when we are "gentle" on it. What I mean by this is that adding leafy greens to your diet can aid the digestion process and can make it run more smoothly. When eating clean and whole foods, I had more energy.

2. Marketing and the food industry are sometimes very misleading.

Many things that claim to be healthy are actually not. The ingredients list and the nutrition facts are the most essential parts when a consumer determines if a food is clean or not. Throughout this process, I had to be very articulate and detailed in finding the exact truth of what it was that I was putting into my body. It is very easy, I had learned, to pick something up with healthy-looking packaging simply out of convenience.

3. Cooking is always better than buying.

Cooking your own food at home may be tough and a hassle, but it is completely worth it. When you cook your own food, you know exactly what is in your food, while buying food doesn't inspire this sense of trust. Store-bought food can and usually is processed to ensure a long shelf-life.

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