Catcher in the Rye still worth reading

Imani Whyte, Opinion Editor

The Catcher in the Rye is a modern classic written by J.D Salinger. For decades, the book has received criticism for containing vulgar language, sexual content, violence, and the belief that the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is too rebellious for younger audiences. With this in mind, does this book truly deserve all the backlash it has received over the years?

For more context, the book is told in first-person by 17-year-old Holden Caulfield. Holden vividly describes the events that took place after he was kicked out from a prestigious private school, Pency Prep. Holden goes through many different difficulties in New York City and appears lost in the world.

Furthermore, Holden is not your typical main character, as he criticizes adults for their phoniness, portrays himself as immature, careless, and his choice of words can leave a bad impression on the reader. However, as the book progresses, Holden reveals more to his character, a softer side. Holden demonstrates his love for those like his sister (Phoebe), his dead brother (Allie), and a childhood friend (Jane Gallagher). These characters relate to a huge theme in the book: Holden’s attempt to protect the innocent. 

In my perspective, the book was very appealing. I thought Holden could be difficult to understand at times, but his imperfections allowed me to connect with him easily. His issues, trauma, and mental exhaustions all display Holden as an authentic character in comparison to your typical cliché characters. Holden’s honesty and thoughts throughout the novel are all worth reading.