The catcher in the rye

Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.

Just finished reading the classic novel 'the catcher in the rye'. I was introduced to it as something like perks and I can see why the comparison, but I feel the effect of the two are world's apart. Charlie sees, observes, ponders life, tries to comprehend people, and as a result paints something beautiful. Holden rages, breaks down, fails to understand, loses hope, and so he paints despair.

Holden is filled with so much angst but even though I don't agree with him much, I feel that I can understand where he is coming from and how he feels. Truth be told, I have my Holden moments too so when I read about him I feel like I can really relate.  Well except mine are moments Holden's raging goes on and on and can be pretty extreme.

I read through majority of the novel thinking that it was decent. Not terribly interesting, not something I'd recommend, but by no means bad and definitely worth finishing since I have already started.

But the last twenty percent of the novel, in Holden's words, killed me. Especially when Phoebe questioned Holden on what he liked and what he would like to be.

Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.

When Holden said these words I felt that great resonance in my heart. A resounding clang. I understood all the angst that Holden felt. Who he was, why he was who he was. I could relate to this heartfelt cry from him.

It helps that it is I would say the most important paragraph in the novel. I mean, this is the only place where the title of the novel appears after all. It's a pretty emotional segment for me.

It's not just this part. Its also his talk with Mr Antolini, the vulgar scribblings, and the final segment with Phoebe. I'd say the first eigthty percent of the novel was to set things up for the last twenty percent, and that last twenty percent is gold.

The catcher in the rye isn't just a critique of society and a journey of adolescence. It's a story of a young man who feels overwhelmed by all that the world is, and he loses hope. He just doesn't know what to to do. I won't recommend this to everyone because it's not everyone's cup of tea, but for those who can relate, put it in your must read list.