The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye discussion


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message 1: by Olivia (new) - added it

Olivia I have heard that the main character in this book is kind of a snob and is a brat. Have you heard anything? If so, what?


message 2: by Katie (new)

Katie Yeah, I read it and didn't like it, though I liked J.D. Salinger's other book, Franny and Zooey. Catcher in the Rye is about a guy with anger problems mainly.


Leonard Klossner You should have just picked up the book and found out for yourself, unless you only read books about happy, sterile, innocuous characters with moral infallibility.


Jeremy Ha! I know that question is really old, but what an odd question. "I heard he's a snob/brat" really? Are kids gossiping about Holden Caulfield these days? "What have you heard?" Uhh, well I read the book and got a pretty good feel for his character; maybe you should try it.


message 5: by Alexis (new) - added it

Alexis Clearly, whomever said that to you didn't read the book.


Hiba Interesting article I found about gripping first and last lines in novels. The catcher in the rye included.

http://asolitarypassion.blogspot.com/...


Kressel Housman Hiba, that is interesting. It makes me want to do the same with some of my favorite books.


Ahmed Labib Yes he is something of an anti-hero - but he is still one of my favorite fictional characters ever.


Olivia Murphy He is a snob. But he means well. He's a snob with a set purpose in life. And he loves his family. He has his morals. He is an extremely reluctant hero, but that's how I saw him at the end; the hero that never meant to be. I don't know...I liked him, his moodiness was amusing, at least.


message 10: by Mira (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mira This book is about the teenage years and I think carries a more powerful punch when read at the age of the protagonist. You can identify with him more than as an adult. I loved this book when I read it in high school. One of my daughters is reading it this year for her class and I will re-read it with her. Will see how I feel about it as an adult.


message 11: by Tory (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tory Olivia wrote: "I have heard that the main character in this book is kind of a snob and is a brat. Have you heard anything? If so, what?"

Holden is my absolute FAVORITE literary character. He's so deeply flawed, but at the same time he's completely endearing once you realize that this kid is, well, just a kid. He doesn't know how to cope with difficulties and therefore masks his lack of understanding with sarcasm and insensibility. He's just trying to go about life without having to deal with emotions and his past.


Olivia Murphy Tory wrote: "Olivia wrote: "I have heard that the main character in this book is kind of a snob and is a brat. Have you heard anything? If so, what?"

Holden is my absolute FAVORITE literary character. He's so ..."
I agree! He's not my favorite character ever, but i can relate to him so easily and so well. The more i read it, the more clearly I see him. And he's still a hero.


Jennifer Dupriest I LOVE HOLDEN CAULFIELD.
Need I say anymore?


Mackenzie Well, even if he is a 'snob' or a 'brat', that doesn't mean that he's not a great character. You know, people don't try to make characters likeable. They try to make them seem real, and that's what Salinger did.


Jason Lilly I enjoy and even seek out unconventional characters in hopes that they will grow and in the meantime I grow with them. Such is the case with Holden. Readers see a different side of him by the end of the novel. His scenes with Phoebe just break my heart. Read the book. Don't believe everything people say (including me). Think for yourself.


Jason Lilly Yossarian from Catch-22 is not a likeable character, but his antics sure are fun to follow. As are Holden's. Another great one is The Bell Jar. Plath's semi-autobiographical protagonist is classic bipolar, which means she bounces from being tender and admirable to a whiny, narcissitic drag. But I fell in love with her more with each turn of the page. As is also true of Holden.


message 17: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will IV Jason wrote: "Yossarian from Catch-22 is not a likeable character"

*record scratch* huh??? He's incredibly likable, in my opinion. What do you think is not likable about him?


Hayley I hated the main character! I found him really whiney and I actually wanted to slap him! He just goes on about how "phoney" everyone is and how he is superior to them, when he really isn't! Let's face it, his life is a mess, however at no point in the book did I feel sorry for him! He just wasn't nice enough to feel sorry for!


Cevat after reading comments, i feel the responsibility to make main character gain his dignity again :)


Allen Holden is not a snob and a brat. He obviously has his flaws. He's an emotionally and psychologically scarred. However, you have to really think to enjoy this book.


Vannetta Chapman I think the issue is you have an un-sympathetic main character. As much as you WANT to pull for this guy, it's difficult to. Sort of like someone you meet in real life and try to like, but you don't! I've taught this book in many classes. It's not the writing that students have a beef with ... it's the character!


Anagalindo I personally like the book. It shows that life isn't always how you want it to be. Holden doesn't feel comfortable in his life and is just trying to figure out what he wants. In the end he learns that life isn't always going to go his way and he has to learn how to live it and make it better for himself.


Acrophobia Omg the use of phony is ridiculous, anyone else find it annoying?


Claire Thompson I fell in love with Holden a little bit when I was reading this book. Yes he can be miserable and whiny but I think he just has a lot of trouble seeing any good in the world. A feeling we've all had at some point, he just gets too tangled up in it.


message 25: by Dan (new) - added it

Dan Acrophobia wrote: "Omg the use of phony is ridiculous, anyone else find it annoying?"

The use of Phony is used purposefully here and is meant to be ironic. Holden is the biggest "phony" off the book. So for the main character to ultimately be the perpetrator of his own ideals is meant to be a social commentary. Behold, the beauty of Salinger, lol. I do agree with you that its usage is overkill if it hadn't been done on purpose.


C. J. Scurria I don't believe in that. In my opinion whoever thought that does not realize the idea of the main character. Sure he goes away from school. . and he tries to have a kind relationship with his sister, and is a tortured soul somewhat and as one reads it will see something to it.

It seems there is a dream that he keeps having or one that he just thinks of. . . and that is the point or it seems to be his "purpose" in this life.


message 27: by Beth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth i really like holden. He's one of my favourite characters ever


message 28: by Allen (last edited Mar 31, 2012 01:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Allen Acrophobia wrote: "Omg the use of phony is ridiculous, anyone else find it annoying?"

"Goddamn"
"Phony"
"If you really want to know the truth..."
"It kills me."

Holden has his own vernacular. No need to be annoyed. It's a goal of the book to EMPHASIZE the PHONINESS of the world.


Vicki G I don't know if it's b/c I lived in New York City, but I thought he was just like MOST New Yorkers, even all these years later. The setting was New York of 1950.
Half the things people are commenting about never even crossed my mind, b/c I know that Holden's perceptions and reactions are the way most New Yorkers see the world and express what they see even in 21st Century New York City.
They say it like it is: they call a Women's Shelter a Battered Women's Home. They don't sugarcoat it with all those DUMB names that mean the same thing but refuse to recognize it for what it really is.
I like people who can call a spade a spade instead of saying it's "a manual earth-digging device."
Most New Yorkers will call it a spade and add a few expletives. But they're still decent people.
I know a guy who cusses in regular conversation, he never directs it at anybody, and he's the nicest person I know.

'It kills me' is a phrase that's synonymous with the modern phrase 'It's hilarious.'


Daniel Whittaker the first time i read it i reaallly sympathised with him, now, after reading it a second time i REAAALLLY hate him


Daniel Whittaker Allen wrote: "Acrophobia wrote: "Omg the use of phony is ridiculous, anyone else find it annoying?"

"Goddamn"
"Phony"
"If you really want to know the truth..."
"It kills me."

Holden has his own vernacular. No ..."


He is a phoney


message 32: by Ken (new) - rated it 1 star

Ken T wrote: "You should have just picked up the book and found out for yourself, unless you only read books about happy, sterile, innocuous characters with moral infallibility."

There's a difference between morally ambiguous, realistic characters with developing traits and this protagonist, who is indeed nothing more than a naive snotty kid.


Monty J Heying Olivia wrote: "I have heard that the main character in this book is kind of a snob and is a brat. Have you heard anything? If so, what?"

Does it make sense to you that Holden was so traumatized by the deaths of his brother, Allie, and his dorm-mate, James Castle, that he couldn't function? Today's diagnosis would be PTSD. Do you know anyone with that condition? If you did, you would recognize the symptoms in Holden, anger being one of them.

Has anyone close to you died? Do you get it that people can be so torn up over the loss of a loved one that it takes them years to get over it unless they get professional help, if even then?

Does the book make sense to you knowing that JD Salinger, himself, was hospitalized for a nervous condition during WWII after participating in the Normandy landing at Utah Beach, the heart of the action, where he could see hundreds of men, some of them perhaps close friends, cut to pieces by German machine guns and mortars; and was among the first Allied soldiers to visit a concentration camp where bodies were piled up to be burned and the air stank of burning flesh and the inmates he helped to liberate were walking skeletons?

Does it make sense to you that someone who had experienced what Salinger had might have acquired an exaggerated sense of compassion for his fellow man and want to protect the innocence of children and create a character like Holden to express those feelings?

Doesn't this make the "teenaged angst" explanation of the book seem a bit superficial, even dismissive?


message 34: by Ken (new) - rated it 1 star

Ken I think if he wanted to portray that with greater impact, he would have written a different story. But perhaps you're right and Salinger is only communicating the best way he can.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't think I've ever loved any other narrator as much as I love Holden.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Strawberry Fields Forever wrote: "I LOVE HOLDEN CAULFIELD.
Need I say anymore?"

No, you don't. Btw, I love your name!


message 37: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin I personally enjoyed the book! In fact, I thought Holden Caulfield was a very interesting character. He's so different from other main character guys, you could kind of relate to him. It was also pretty funny at times and his excessive use of the word "phony" and "goddammit" was sort of hilarious. I liked the part about ducks a LOT! :D


Martha Bookworm wrote: "Yes he is something of an anti-hero - but he is still one of my favorite fictional characters ever."

I agree with you!


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