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The Catcher in the Rye 4

  • Date Submitted: 02/16/2012 05:38 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 70.8 
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The Catcher in the Rye

This fascinating book is a controversial (1951.) novel written in fifties by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage confusion, angst, alienation, language, and rebellion. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages. Around 250,000 copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than 65 million. The novel's protagonist and antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion.
The majority of the novel takes place in December late forties (1949.). The novel opens with the narrator, Holden, a seventeen-year-old boy from New York City, telling the story of three days in his life. The whole narrative is a coming to terms with the past, since Holden tells it from a psychiatric institution. It is the adult world that has driven him insane. He just cannot relate to anyone except for his kid sister Phoebe. Everything and all other people seem "phony" to him. Holden is unable to accept life. Since Holden is becoming an adult himself, he is unhappy with what he will represent. He flunks out of three boarding schools in a row, the latest of them Pencey Prep, which is also where the first part of the story takes place. One Saturday night, after an unpleasant experience with his history teacher "Old Spencer," his roommate Stradlater and the boy next door, Robert Ackley, Holden decides to leave Pencey four days early for Christmas break. He knows that he cannot return to his parents because they are not aware that he has been expelled again. Holden spends the next three days wandering aimlessly around New York City. He stays at a cheap hotel for one night, goes to two night clubs, dances with older women, often talks and thinks about sex, even has a prostitute come up to his room. The next day, he talks with some nuns about literature and has a date with his former girlfriend Sally Woodruff. They go to the theater and...

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