Catcher in the Rye Book Review | Teen Ink

Catcher in the Rye Book Review

September 10, 2021
By a2lee2026 BRONZE, Incheon, Other
a2lee2026 BRONZE, Incheon, Other
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Catcher in the Rye Book Review

The main character’s name is Holden Caulfield and he shows very poor academic performance in his school.  At the end of the fall term, Holden’s school, Pennsylvania Pencey announces the score and Holden has failed 4 classes out of five and eventually gets expelled from the school. He had been expelled from 3 other schools and this one was his fourth time. After being expelled from his fourth school on Saturday, Holden has to wait until Wednesday to go back to his house. However, he decides to leave his house and go to a hotel called Edmont. The guests in the hotel were mostly couples and adults that were doing sexual activities and Holden became excited and sad at the same time. After the experience Holden decides to do inappropriate activities for his age such as smoking, calling girls, and other things that adults do at the age of 16, and, later on, he decides to leave his house.

The story kept me sad and sorry for the main character because of his innocence when looking at the outside adult’s world. Holden gives up his student and academic life and follows what the adults do. When I was reading through the book I wanted Holden to acknowledge the reality and focus his life more on academics or other things he likes that are suitable for his age. The scene that I felt that Holden was unfortunate was when he brought the stripper, Sunny, to his room and gave her five dollars and after doing nothing and was requested to give five more dollars from an old worker in the hotel, Maurice, and as soon as he repudiated his request the man punched Holden and he was in a dangerous situation. “Then he smacked me. I didn’t even try to get out of the way or duck or anything. All I felt was this terrific punch in my stomach.” (p.115) Holden was in a terrible situation because he was being punched by an adult man. After all, he wanted to follow and find the truth in an adult's world, even though he is only 16 years old. In addition, I felt empathy for Halden because I was also a student and I sometimes feel that an adult’s life is better and more fun than students’.

The only part that I thought was unfavorable was the last page of the book in chapter 26. I wanted to see how Holden would become more mature and focus his life on an academic part. In addition, there was no description of how the family was convinced or how Holden changed his thoughts about his family and went back to the house. Quote: “ That’s all I’m going to tell you about. I could probably tell you what I did after I went home, and how I got sick and all, and what school I’m supposed to go to next fall.”(p.234)

I think that this book can empathize with some of the students that are receiving a lot of stress due to academic parts of their lives, in addition, the main character of the story is 16 years old. I recommend this book to all adults and students because adults can understand how much young children are influenced by them and students can feel empathy towards the main character in the story.

I rate this book 8 out of 10 points because I can feel the sad and lamentable loss of the main character of the story. In addition, the writer of the catcher of the rye, JD Salinger wrote his book in 1951 which was a time when people were depressed because of the world war. He wrote this book as an act of liberation and wanted to express his loss and sadness of his brother Alie’s death caused by the war in the book as Holden, the main character of the book, experienced in his life. Therefore, this book was very interesting and I was able to feel the depression of the author and Holden. 

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