Catcher in the Rye Book Cover

Catcher in the Rye Book Cover

J.D. Salinger, author of “The Catcher in the Rye” just died. The novel is considered a classic and introduced us to the rebellious Holden Caulfield , a young man who’s mix of innocence and cynicism would become the standard for the anti-hero we would see in film and books for years to come; some who perhaps gained more notoriety and recognition – James Dean in “Rebel without a Cause,” “The Breakfast Club ,” and of course…Benjamin Braddock of “The Graduate”.Embittered and enraged by the “phonies” and alienated by an adult world he wanted no part of, Holden has come to epitomize teenage rebellion.

With regard to the novel itself, according to Finlo Rohrer the reasons behind the popularity and criticism of the book are because the Catcher in the Rye “captures existential teenage angst” and has a “complex central character” and “accessible conversational style” – while at the same time some readers may dislike the “use of 1940s New York vernacular”, “self-obsessed central character” and “too much whining.”

Pencey Prep Fencing Logo - Image from CafePress

Pencey Prep Fencing Logo - Image from CafePress

I have to admit, that I tend to fall in the latter category. I found myself wishing that Holden would just “get on with it.” Actually, very similar to my feelings about Hamlet. But I can at least say that I have some fondness with both because of the fencing.

REFERENCES:

Catcher in the Rye Author Salinger Dies

New York Times – Get a Life, Holden Caulfield

About the author

DayAlMohamed Day Al-Mohamed is author of the Young Adult novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn.” She is also co-editor for the anthology, “Trust & Treachery” from Dark Quest Books. In addition to speculative fiction, she also writes comics and film scripts. She is an active member of the Cat Vacuuming Society of Northern Virginia Writing Group, of Women in Film and Video, and a graduate of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop.