I have just sat down to start writing about The Catcher in the Rye, and looking over the questions, I realized exactly how difficult it is going to be to write eight small posts about a book about absolutely nothing. Reading the book was like doing yoga, and I consider yoga the art of painful, slow torture. Absolutely nothing exciting happened over the course of the entire book. It was just a look into a rather annoying and frustrated teenager’s head.
Now I will try very hard to write about the author’s values and attitudes. I noticed that the main character gets really depressed about absolutely everything, especially things that are really no big deal. It gets under my skin really quickly.
Tiny little things make the main character feel truly depressed. For instance, when he is leaving his history teacher’s room, his history teacher tells him good luck (Salinger 15). He says he would never do that, and that it is really a terrible thing to say (Salinger 16). What is his problem? Someone cares about him enough to make sure he knows that they want him to do well, and all he can think about is how depressing it sounds. He talks about how once he had a roommate whose suitcases were not as good as his, and how it depressed him so much (Salinger 108). Why does it matter? Does Holden think so little of himself that the matter of having better suitcases than someone else makes him feel bad? I do not understand people like that at all. I can not understand why he is so hard on himself. I wish he would just enjoy life and stop worrying about silly things like if his things are better than someone else’s things. When he is sitting with some nuns at breakfast and gives them ten dollars, he starts to feel bad that he only gave them ten dollars (Salinger 113). I just do not understand what his problem is with himself.
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and, 1991. Print.