Catcher In The Rye

Good Essays
Throughout the course of the novel, it is apparent that Caulfield is struggling from some type of “internal clash” (Gaynor 88) that causes him to feel the amount of resentment toward society that he does. Many critics argue that Salinger’s depiction of the painful transition through adolescence in The Catcher in the Rye closely resembles his own life journey. Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya and Ruzbeh Babaee, two professors at University Putra Malaysia, discuss this connection in their 2014 critical essay, “Salinger’s Depiction of Trauma in The Catcher in the Rye.” J.D. Salinger served in World War II and his experiences in the military may have heavily influenced his writing, especially The Catcher in the Rye. Yahya and Ruzbeh argue that Salinger’s …show more content…
As the novel commences, it is made clear to the reader that Caulfield is in a mental institution but we are never given a diagnosis. Keith Gaynor, a psychologist attempts to diagnose Caulfield with Major Depressive Disorder, due to some type of “internal clash” (Gaynor 88). Gaynor believes that the source of this “clash” comes from what Caulfield experiences in school. “The things that have meaning for him are the antithesis of what he meets in the world around him” (Gaynor 88). Caulfield is searching for sincerity—that is what he longs for in his relationships, and because he never experiences it he is left feeling empty and confused. Another possible explanation for Caulfield’s depression comes from the trauma he experienced when he was thirteen years old. Caulfield’s younger brother, passed away from Leukemia and although the novel is set three years later, Caulfield references his brother’s death often and even alludes to it causing mental distress for …show more content…
Because of these accusations, Salinger’s novel has been placed on “banned” and “challenged” books lists countless times. This idea of censorship in schools is very troubling for many readers and educators, because there is notable evidence of this novel having a significant amount of literary merit for students. Many educators have attempted to test and study the benefits that reading censored books can have on students, and among them is Drew Chappell. Chappell, in his 2006 study, “Banned Book Ethnographies: A Project With 8th Graders” attempted to observe the effects that reading notoriously banned books such as Fahrenheit 451 and The Catcher in the Rye can have on the students that read them. Taking place over ten weeks, Chappell asked his students to identify the themes in their novels that they think may have caused it to become banned, and interview adults in the community about censorship. As a result, he concluded that reading banned books teaches students to understand societal issues through another’s eyes while also encouraging students to form their own ideas and opinions about the world around them (Chappell 182-189). Although The Catcher in The Rye displays some themes that may be more appropriate to discuss in a high school setting, Chappell’s conclusions are valuable information and prove that reading

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