This novel points out one very important social issue of the setting, and that is the violence of pimps in New York City. By that I mean that the book pointed out no social issues, and furthermore that it had no theme. I suppose I could sit around and speculate on possible themes, but the more I think about it the more I get frustrated with the book. What in God’s name was I supposed to get out of reading that book? There was no lesson, no moral, and no ideas. I could hardly stand to read the darn book.
I suppose it did reflect some history about New York City during the time. For instance, it must not have been to uncommon people under the legal drinking age to go to bars and clubs and drink a lot. Holden goes to several including one big fancy one called the Wicker Bar. They serve him so many drinks that he gets absolutely drunk (Salinger 149). Today, that kind of thing would probably not happen in a fancy club, at least not without fake identification. I also doubt that a minor would be able to stay at a hotel all by themselves like Holden does (Salinger 61). I do not know the laws about that kind of thing, but I am pretty sure that that sort of thing does not happen.
Other than the looseness of society back then when it came to minors, I do not think this book points out much about history. In fact, I do not think this book points out much of anything. I just cannot get over how totally awful it was. I really want to know why people consider it such a classic, because I cannot even see why anyone in their right mind would even publish it. Maybe my criticism is a little unwanted, but this is my revenge for having to read such a truly horrible book.
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and, 1991. Print.