#TheUglyTruth: The Second Thought on ‘The Catcher in the Rye’

I’d like to annul what I had said about ‘The Catcher in The Rye’. In a post on Facebook, years ago, I said that I really loved it. I even declared it as an excellent story about ‘the saddest fall of an idealist’. My notes about the book caught the attention of some good friends of mine that they eventually read it, too.

I had written how I admired Holden Caulfield, the major character in the fiction. I saluted his honesty, bravery, idealism, which I thought way above his peers at school. Probably this was because of his bitter stories when he was still at humble age. His narrative was crazy, totally bold and completely shocking, I said to myself at that time.

The book was quick-read not only because it was relatively short but also because its content put me head over heels. What made me loving it was when Holden decided not to leave his family because of his huge love for his sister, Phoebe. My feelings were mixed up. I was disappointed at the finale but at the same time I understood it.

I read the book long before I experienced the joy of classic readings. And now after years of reading journey across culture, authors and themes, I have to say that my previous opinions about ‘The Catcher in The Rye’ are no longer as bombastic as they once were.

I firmly hold my stance on the concerns  J.D. Salinger wants to convey; about negative impacts of broken family, on the effects of the society pressures on young generations regarding their future and about moral problems arising in the U.S after it gets rid of the Great Depression and starts becoming more liberal and capitalistic.

However, after reading novels from Victorian era, now I can shape my own kind of favorite reading type. I adore beautiful words, the show-not-the-tell sort of writing and very detailed tale. At this thing, I’d like to say that I dislike the Salinger’s writing style of the book. Too straight-forward and full of craps. I used to love this phrase ‘craps’ but not anymore.

I shouldn’t exaggerate the previous opinion on the ending of the book. Without reducing melancholy feeling that comes whenever Holden expresses his dear love to Phoebe, I shouldn’t say his decision not leaving her as something betraying his idealism. Holden is a teenager after all. He does visualize living an independent life but still, he hasn’t tried doing it. His view of life is still limited. I shouldn’t say his decision refers to ‘the saddest fall of idealist’ because I think Holden hasn’t earned that status.


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