Monday, 13 July 2015

(Book) Real or Faux-nee? A look at the Catcher in the Rye

This is one of the few great American novels I've read.

It's the only one I've read twice.

The story follows Holden Caulfield; a young, brash man who is stuck between protecting the innocent and diving down the dark rabbit hole of adulthood.

This coming of age story is both beautiful and bizarre in its symbolism and dialogue.

Here you have a young man, who calls out all these people, claims that they're 'phony,' or fake. All the while you see him buying hotel rooms, lying to people and embellishing his own stories.

Holden in a lot of ways is considered to be an unreliable narrator. Though this is not a fault of his own.

The book is self narrated, so all we have to go on is Holden's word.

We read about his expulsion from the really good school he was going to and the fights he got into with the boys in his dorm.

For all his faults, however, Holden is well meaning and kind, especially to his sister.

As an Australian, I still can't fully understand the magnitude of this book's status.

For me personally, I understand this book as the pressure and expectation to grow up. This is shown throughout the book by way of Holden's hunting cap. The constant taking off and on of the cap symbolises his desire to grow up and fit in, yet retain his innocence.

This is further illustrated in his desire to protect the innocence of his sister. He puts her on a carousel ride to watch her play and see her happy.

Because in a lot of ways, it feels as though it's too late for him.

For me, I relate a lot to Holden. He is a singularity in his universe; neither fitting in with those his age or those who are older.

He doesn't quite fit anywhere.

I love this book for many reasons. It's a book that, while incredibly misogynistic, revolves around the pressure involved in growing up. The desire to perform greatly while wearing a mask.

To Holden, it is all one big performance.

What he refuses to admit, however, is that he's the lead actor.

There is much tragedy in this irony.

For all its flaws, this book transcends star ratings.

It is forever marked with the ravensmark. (drawing pending.)

This mark is reserved for those books and movies that are too good to be measured by numbers.

Special thanks to for your recommendation!

Thus ends this review.
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Critiques welcome.

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