The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger is set around the 1950’s. After getting into a fight with his roommate, sixteen year old Holden Caulfield, gets out of his dorm and narrates a couple of days wandering the city of New York City. A story about a young man who is going through a phase of isolation and doubts. A coming-of-age novel by J.D Salinger a book that can be loved and understood on many different levels of comprehension and each reader who experiences it will come away with a fresh view of the world in which they live.
I was always skeptical whether I should read this book every time I went to the library. And I am glad that I decided to go for it because I really loved this book. Although it has no definite plot, reading the mind of a boy who has problems with himself and the society had been a good 7 hour read.
The main character Holden, despite hating everyone and calling them phonies always tries to call someone for companion. He always feel he is alone and need someone to talk to.
What made this book inspirational for me is that there was a parts of me that Holden has. Since I moved to the Philippines, I transferred school almost every year. There were three phases of my school life. The part where I was being bullied, the time when I was a bully myself(not the kind of bully who hurts someone physically but by not being careful of my words) and the time when I was the one who watched bullies.
I was in grade school when I was bullied because of my ethnicity. Of course kids are not yet mature enough to avoid discriminating people like me who has chinky eyes and a not-so-good English from them but for a nine year old girl that scarred me. So I tried to study harder till I made the top 5 of our class but that wasn’t enough. I kinda felt isolated and alone despite all my efforts to make real friends.
I was transferred schools and met new friends but now I decided I was not going to pretend to like something that I don’t like and be honest about what I want all the time. It was up to them if they can accept me as I am. I was really frank to the point that I started to hurt the feelings of others it took me a while to realize this. And I learned that just because you’re honest, that doesn’t mean you did the right thing. Sometimes you just let people learn on their own or accept that everyone has their own opinions.
So here I am on my last year of high school finally be able to find myself more and more each day. But I witness every now and then some of my classmates who can’t fit in really well on school or the “bullies” who I was once was. I know how being isolated feels. I know how power feels like. Both had one thing in common : even though there are a lot of people are around you you feel alone. no one to talk to about your real problems because you’re afraid maybe they will think you’re weird and stop talking to you.
And so was Holden. He was the protagonist of this story and the only antagonist in this novel was his internal conflicts. His own doubts and fears. A lot teenagers had gone through self doubts and insecurities and vulnerability. But that’s okay, because I myself do not know how to make it all go away but I assure you that positivity can make you strong and make the biggest problems of your life light as a feather.