We read this for my senior year and the moment i read the first swear word, i was turned off- COMPLETELY. I begrudgingly read the book and was completely appauled by what i was reading. Chapter 6 has 61 swear words in it alone! in my book, that was about 6 pages averaging 10 swear words a page. Instead of getting a test on the book and all the underneathness that there is behind the book, my english teacher decides us to write a critical anaylasis paper reguarding an issue or topic of the book of our choice.
i hated the book to begin with, why would i want to write a 3-5 page paper about it? i was last to come up with my thesis which took several revisions before actually getting to the approved one. Here are a few passages from my paper:
" This crude display of a teenage boy from the 50’s shouldn’t be allowed for children to read about because Holden is totally inappropriate for all his swearing and all his explicit references to sex. Sure movies today that kids see do that stuff but it’s really is completely repelling and repulsive because it’s bad enough that it’s being thrown at our younger generation, there shouldn’t be a verbal idea of what Holden or his friends do, with girls. Who, if you went out and surveyed people on the streets, from all age groups, actually wants to hear about that?
The best parts in the book were when you read about Holden’s childhood memories of Jane Gallagher in chapter 11, pages 76-80 and when he was with his younger sister, Phoebe—at the end of the book—chapter 21 pages 158-180! Catcher is plagued with an over abundant negativity swallowing what little positivity the book does hold in it; therefore, making the book less pleasurable to delve into and especially difficult to see what’s really happening! [...]
All of Holden’s swearing and talk of sex and super pessimistic, unenthusiastic attitude can really burden a person and the text. I mean there’s just a few more really nice things to read about with Phoebe but not majorly huge if you proportioned it to the rest of awfulness resonating in Holden’s life. You miss the whole fact that Holden is going through teen depression! That’s what the whole book is showing. But it’s super easy to miss with all the putridness that’s happening in the story. Why exactly did J.D. Salinger decide for Holden’s story to be that way? That’s almost like trying to figure out if "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll is a book for adults, or a book for children. It really is a mystery. But you are the ultimate judge on whether this book, "Catcher in the Rye", is a good book or not. That all lies on personal opinion. I myself find it the absolute worst book I’ve ever read right up there above "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding and "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls. So is it a bad book with little good parts or a good book with lots of bad parts? "
I mean my friend loved the book. I couldnt get past the swearing and sex-talk-AND IM 17!!
I didnt hate the entire book tho. i really loved the jane gallagher flashback and the stuff with phoebe-but that was it.
i dont see the whole hoopla about the book. i would have been suuuuuper content with a censered book to read.
i myself went through depression and the lose of someone who was practically my brother, but i related nothing to Holden in the slightest. if i would have read the book on my own (which is highly doubtful after the first page) i would have missed 100% that Holden was suffering from depression. its just so hidden.
this is no quick, fun, light read so if thats the kind of book you're looking for, youre in the wrong place. but if you want to find a deeper meaning in a book, and can stand sex-talk, swearing, smoking and drinking in what i would consider a fictional character who's still a child, then be my guest!