“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”
— J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Everyone is a goddamn phony. It’s almost impossible to finish this book without having that sentence engraved in your thoughts, forever. The Catcher in the Rye was one of my most surprising reading experiences yet. It’s not your conventional young adult story. It is a book that has known censorship before embracing immense fame. It’s popularity grew at an exponential speed and ended up getting incredible praise among teenagers. How? It was all in Holden Caufield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, and how so many adolescents were able to relate with him. This story is a glimpse into the life of Holden Caufield. He narrates the events, one after the other, and puts forth his entire thought process in black and white. After learning that he once again got kicked out of high school, Holden Caufield decides to follow his gut feeling and takes a trip to New York City. Through these events, readers uncover a child who’s simply falling into adulthood. In this story marinating in a theme of coming of age, Holden Caufield is an elegy for adolescents. It’s through his confusion, his angst, his pain, his pleasures and his desires that we see his struggle to remain a child, yet swimming in a world of adults.