An Introduction to The Catcher in the Rye. By J.D. Salinger. J.D. Salinger. Alienation from society is a major theme of Jerome David Salinger’s work and no less a force in his own life. He seems determined to retreat from society and has succeeded in obscuring most of his private life.
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By J.D. Salinger
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.
Other critics have categorized is Holden’s talking to a psychoanalyst: the inside story is Holden’s own narrative, with flashbacks of the events, the “madman stuff” that has led to his arrival at a rest home in California. 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.