30 March 2011

The Catcher in The Rye.

I am Holden Caufield.
Or I was.
Either way it's really uncomfortable to find yourself identifying with a fictional character whose motives, personality, and actions are being dissected by a college level English class.
I didn't feel like they were examining Holden.
I felt like they were criticizing me.
Every time they questioned Holden's actions, I wanted to defend to him.
To tell them what it was like to have your family fall apart. To lie because it was easier than telling the truth. To try all you can to hold onto innocence because you are only 16 years old and already know all too well how the world works.
But I didn't.
I couldn't.
My heart felt like it was going to explode in my chest. My throat was tightening. My anxiety mechanisms were kicking in.
I walked out of that classroom and down College Avenue faster than I've ever walked before. Truthfully, I wanted to run, but thought that would look strange ("Why is that girl running in brown boots and a gray wool coat? And why does she have her purse?").
When I got home I discovered Jeff had already gone into work.
So I put on my red hunting hat by listening to music and baking cookies and ignoring the semester's worth of work I have to do by next Tuesday.
Pandora was spot on. Somehow good songs always come into my life right when I need them. I don't think that's coincidence. Heavenly Father speaks in so many ways. And He knows what I need.

I don't know a lot about J.D. Salinger, but I feel like The Catcher in the Rye may have been more of an autobiography than a novel. Even though it was so successful, he became a recluse and stopped writing. I hope Catcher wasn't his way of asking for help and then not getting it.
It's hard when you trust someone with the truth of your aching heart and they just ignore you.

Anyway, this was just the first third of this book.
I still have 190 pages and two class periods to go.
(I read this book for fun in high school, but don't remember it. I just remember getting into it because I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and liking it.)

Salinger, I know this is realism, but please let Holden have a happy ending.


  1. I agree, Amy. I feel like it's sometimes easier for people to dismiss things like that (literature that really makes you feel things) because it is a lot of hard things that maybe they haven't felt. I don't think this makes a lot of sense, but I really know what you mean and I love you.

  2. i LOVE that book. I am doing my final project on it in my lit class this semester.

  3. and although there is a lot of evidence that Salinger based characters on himself and his life, he was kinda of a loony toon so I don't think you need to worry too much about an unheard cry for help.