Why I hate 'Catcher in the Rye'

April 20, 2010|By DEVON JACOBS / Pulse correspondent
  • The 1951 novel "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger is considered a classic and is required reading in many schools. Pulse correspondent Devon Jacobs doesn't recommend it, however.

In J.D. Salinger's 1951 novel, "Catcher in the Rye," the main character is Holden Caulfield. He's a confused 16-year-old boy who has been kicked out of several schools over the course of many years, has a lack of respect for people and can't seem to find his calling.

Frankly, the only reason I read this book is because it is required reading for school.

Holden Caulfield is a pessimistic person who can't seem to grasp life for what it is and doesn't see the value in much of anything except for children. He is contradictory and his attention can't seem to stay focused for more than half a page. Holden believes that the people he meets are just nothing but "phonies." The irony is that Holden himself is the greatest phony of them all.

He even admits to not caring about anything that will happen to him.

What a swell guy.


And there is the reason why I can't stand "Catcher in the Rye."

Every day of his life is filled with something Holden can't stand - from his friends to how the world functions. One minute he claims to want to do something passionately like run away with Sally, a girl he has known for years, and yet less than two paragraphs later, he is telling the reader he cannot stand her.

Then he has the nerve to tell Sally she is a pain. Sally did nothing wrong. He says he once thought her to be intellectual because she knew literature and such. Then he says she's the phony. He says she is not smart, and for what? Nothing. She did nothing to give him that opinion.

My opinion of Holden is very low, and I see nothing in the book that gives me even a glimmer of hope that he would change once he got older. I don't think he wants to change because he wants a reason to be angry at everyone.

And the vulgarity in the book? Must every other word be a curse of every kind? I get tired of reading sentences that were comprised of nothing but curse words. Had it not been a requirement in school, I never would have read it nor will I ever read it again.

The only highlight of this entire book is that he decided not to sleep with Sonny, the prostitute.

People claim they like the book because it's "deep." They only "like" it because "Catcher in the Rye" is considered a classic.

People like to walk around and say, "I am a fan of the classics, have you ever read 'Catcher in the Rye'? I have!" There are better classical books out there. Try finding the classics of quality.

"Catcher in the Rye" is a terrible book and I discourage anyone and everyone from reading it.

Devon Jacobs, 16, is a junior at Washington County Technical High School. She is not a fan of J.D. Salinger.

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