An Introduction to The Catcher in the Rye. Advanced Composition & Novel Mrs. Snipes. J.D. Salinger.
Advanced Composition & Novel
Salinger moved to rural New Hampshire and lived as a recluse. He only saw local youngsters, whose company he enjoyed. Although the success of his one novel, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), brought him unwanted attention, he kept the public eye at bay by refusing all visitors. However, whenever he was trapped, he offered conflicting information and often totally false biographical data.
Also consider, what is Salinger’s message to his audience and how is Holden a vehicle to convey this message?
In this respect, Holden serves as a character like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, who can be reinterpreted each generation. The comparison with Hamlet is particularly apt since, like the Prince, Holden’s major dilemma is trying to cope with society’s corruption and deceit. In both cases, the characters do find peace, but only within their own souls.
Other critics have categorized Catcher as a picaresque novel—a book dealing with the adventurers of a wanderer. Still others see Holden as a Christ figure, lunatic—even Peter Pan. The diversity of views only increases the novel’s literary merit.
Then this morning I went to the bookstore and bought The Catcher in the Rye. I’m sure the large part of me is Holden Caulfield, who is the main person in the book. The small part of me must be the Devil.