Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is no exception.

If the symbolism in this novel is studied closely, there should be no astonishment in learning that The Catcher in the Rye took approximately ten years to write and was originally twice its present length....

In The Catcher In the Rye, Holden says that his dream job would to be the catcher in rye.

Holden Caulfield values Allie’s baseball mitt before he leaves school, the museum, and the Carousel in Central Park because they remind him of his childhood, and the innocence of childhood he hates to see children lose.


Throughout “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D.

Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye

Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is a remarkable book that gives readers a unique and perhaps gloomy perspective of the 1950's through Holden Caulfield, a cynical and peculiar teenager.


J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, (Penguin, 1994), p. 46

Shortly after publication, the text was discussed as a record of 50s teenage vernacular that may later acquire the importance of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in Donald P. Costello, The Language of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ in American Speech, Vol. 34, No. 3 (1959), Duke University Press

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, (Penguin, 1994), p. 14

When Holden remembers incidents from his past involving Allie, his attitude changes, such as when he writes the composition about Allie’s baseball glove or when Holden broke his hand after punching all of the windows after Allie died....

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, (Penguin, 1994), p. 117

When we learn that Holden talks to his dead brother, that he cries sometimes for no reason and that, at the novel’s close, he literally loses control of his own actions, compulsively pacing the sidewalks of New York, seeing Allie at every turn – we know that there is something more at work here than inconsistency for its own sake, that The Catcher in the Rye is an inventory of extreme loss and change.

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, (Penguin, 1994), p. 9

The Catcher in the Rye is, at its core, a narrative about a teenage boy at the beginning of adulthood, coming to terms with the death of a sibling (Holden’s brother, Allie) and his subsequent failure at school . But, mediated through the erratic and emotionally detached narration of its protagonist, this is not the story Holden sets out to tell.

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, (Penguin, 1994). p. 1

The main character, Holden, runs away from his expensive school because he is an academic failure and finds intolerable the company of so many phoneys.

Salinger's Catcher in the Rye J.

The sense one gets is that Salinger – and his avatar, the ‘implied author’ – are sympathetic to Holden, not antagonistic. Holden is torn between the intellectual desire to be authentic and the chemical interactions inside him, making him increasingly more adult. More ‘phony’.