Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Catcher in the Rye - Article.

The majority of us have read it or at least heard of it. Perfect for someone who loves to read but finds themselves with little time on their hands, due to spending all hours of the day (and night) committed to that assignment you despised from the word go.

The novel has sentiments that, despite being ancient and written in 1951, echo the problems that follow coming of age for us today. For instance; we all frequently hate the world as the transformation of teenager to adult is such a torturous experience, particularly because of the numerous responsibilities to cope with when we'd rather just be playing Pokémon.

The Catcher is a good book to read for essay-writing masochists as it's around 200 pages long, with small chapters that make it easy to put down and pick up again, especially if the flat upstairs decides to turn it up to 11, disturbing mentality to the point of no recovery.

The book is set over 2 days in New York, in which a lot of cash gets blown, mainly on alcohol and cigarettes, hotel rooms, ice-skating, the cinema and a hell of a lot of taxis. It also deals with themes such as depression. If anyone knows about depression, it's students. Deadlines and the pressures of whether to go out or not are enough to make anyone contemplate their own existence. The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, suffers with the disorder. He narrates the story, looking back on his time before he becomes 'ill'. The trigger could be the fact that he's failing at his fourth college. He contradicts himself a lot, just like the rest of us, changing our minds like British weather. His behaviour is inconsistent and he refers to several people as a 'phoney', finding faults in everyone he meets, which is too easy when people are complete morons, right?

Holden Caulfield recalls things from his childhood, like the ducks in the park, always wondering where they go in the winter when the lake freezes over. When he visits the museum, he's pleased that it never changes, the exhibits remain the same. He doesn't, however, like the fact he's changed so much every time he visits. He just wants to be a kid again, which don't we all? A time when you don't have to worry about when your rent money is due, you didn't have to make sure you're eating habits are relatively normal and that you don't look too much like a zombie from next to no sleep night after night.

Does any of this ring true? If you wish you were a kid again and you'd rather not have to face the challenges of adulthood just yet, or you're an insomniac, maybe this is the book for you. It's also a good read because it's very American and there's a bit of swearing every now and then. It might give you some inspiration and get you motivated for that 50 million word dissertation that's right on your doorstep.

- Emz

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