A brief analysis of Catcher in the rye by Salinger
The first mention we get of this mysterious catcher in this mysterious rye is when Holden overhears a little kid singing, “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.” For just a second, it makes him feel not so depressed, in part because Holden is a fan of little children, and we can all agree that the only things better than little kids are singing little kids. Holden singing the poem of Burns romanticizes into big fantasy about protecting little kids—is just asking, “Is casual sex okay?” The Catcher in the Rye is a book about a teenager trying to find a way to be true to himself while growing up in a world full of phonies—and a book about post-World War II America burrowing into the “phoniness” of consumerism while trying to pretend that the trauma of the atomic bomb didn’t happen. No wonder The Catcher in the Rye ended up as a symbol of alienation and isolation for the disillusioned and restless post-war generation. Holden finds the hypocrisy and ugliness of the world around him almost unbearable, and through his cynicism he tries to protect himself from the pain and disappointment of the adult world. However, the criticisms that Holden aims at people around him are also aimed at himself. He is uncomfortable with his own weaknesses, and at times displays as much phoniness, meanness, and superficiality as anyone else in the book.