My time with Holden Caufield

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My only school experience with Catcher in the Rye was in junior year of high school in English class. One half of the class read it and my half read 1984 by George Orwell, another banned book. Somehow along the years, I ended up with a copy of Catcher in the Rye, so I thought, why not read it? I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. I had a few people tell me what a great book it was.

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In my humble opinion, they were terribly wrong. No offense to those people, but I hated this book. Houlden Caufield is a whiny, spoiled brat. He complains about everything. I was done with him when he complained about his former roommate’s suitcases because they weren’t fancy enough. Who is he to get mad at someone because they don’t have nice stuff? He just never seemed to be happy with anything.

The only time in the book when I felt bad for him was when he talked about his brother Allie, who passed away. If I could give Holden any advice it would be to get some therapy, because he has a lot of pent-up anger, and I think that a lot of it stems from his brother’s death. While I understand that he is still grieving over the loss of his brother it doesn’t excuse the fact that he’s so snotty.

This book was published back in 1951, and I could see why it was banned in classrooms because of Holden’s constant cursing, drinking and smoking. Also, a lot of the subject content isn’t usually talked about in the classroom (for example, prostitution and religion). I could even see this book being banned now even though a lot of teenagers these days are exposed to these things everyday whether it be on TV, in the movies, music or even in their own lives.

What did you think of Catcher in the Rye? Did you hate it like I did? Or did you love it? Let us know in the comments below!

~Kayla

Spend some time with Holden at your own risk.

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Kayla works at Squirrel Hill as a Clerk, so when you come up to the customer services desk you might see her face! When she’s not at the library she enjoys reading, watching TV & listening to music. You might also find her at your local Starbucks, because she loves her Frappuccinos.