We all go through that stage of pointlessness in our lives. A goalless appraoch without a clear path and unsure of everything. ‘The catcher in the Rye’ by J.D Salinger is an extended rant of a teenager going through a similar phase where he doesn’t hold back anything.
Imagine describing every emotion, every feeling about other people or situations being blurted out without thinking twice. The entire story is an exact depiction of that very feeling. The unsaid being said out loud or at least thought of in contradictory fashion. The Main Character’s (Holden) views shift from one extreme to another. Typical bipolarity, if you can term it. He’d hate someone for a while and then miss not being with them. He’ll call almost everyone a phony for sticking to the traditional or conventional system.
What I like about the book is the sheer audacity to not hold back anything. It can be wrong in thought but not wrong on the front of being honest to oneself, which is an achievement.
The story is a first person account of Holden Caulfield who is struggling to adjust with the set processes of his various schools from which he gets kicked out of. From the day of this being known, how every encounter with people: roommate, hostellers, teachers, random co-travellers and even family and how he terms them all as ‘phonies’ and ‘lousies’ and questions their motives all the time.
I found myself laughing at a lot of simple inferences spread through the narration. Spread over 5 days, this is a brilliant way to bring to life the complexity of a teenage mind .
It’s a very easy read over a lazy afternoon and highly recommended. It’s approach towards philosophy is directed towards asking questions and constantly re-evaluating life’s choices.
Go grab a copy of this masterpiece.