J. D. Salinger's 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is the definitive coming-of-age novel and Holden Caulfield remains one of the most famous characters in modern literature. This jargon-free guide to the text sets The Catcher in the Rye in its historical, intellectual and cultural contexts, offering analyses of its themes, style and structure, and presenting an up-to-date account of its critical reception.
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Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, this book seeks to illuminate a timeless classic in relation to its author, its beloved protagonist, and its cultural context decade by decade. It grapples with the novel’s major themes, like WWII, the main character’s contempt for privilege, and the assassins who cite the book as inspiration.
Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories, particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme--With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is full of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices--but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.
Five essays focus on various aspects of the novel from its ideology within the context of the Cold War and portrait of a particular American subculture to its account of patterns of adolescent crisis and rich and complex narrative structure.
The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also features glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format. CliffsNotes on The Catcher in the Rye introduces you to a coming-of-age novel with a twist. J.D. Salinger's best-known work is more realistic, more lifelike and authentic than some other representatives of the genre. Get to know the unforgettable main character, Holden Caulfield, as he navigates the dangers and risks of growing up. This study guide enables you to keep up with all of the major themes and symbols of the novel, as well as the characters and plot. You'll also find valuable information about Salinger's life and background. Other features that help you study include Character analyses of major players A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters Critical essays A review section that tests your knowledge A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951) is a twentieth-century classic. Despite being one of the most frequently banned books in America, generations of readers have identified with the narrator, Holden Caulfield, an angry young man who articulates the confusion, cynicism and vulnerability of adolescence with humour and sincerity. This guide to Salinger’s provocative novel offers: an accessible introduction to the text and contexts of The Catcher in the Rye a critical history, surveying the many interpretations of the text from publication to the present a selection of new critical essays on the The Catcher in the Rye, by Sally Robinson, Renee R. Curry, Denis Jonnes, Livia Hekanaho and Clive Baldwin, providing a range of perspectives on the novel and extending the coverage of key critical approaches identified in the survey section cross-references between sections of the guide, in order to suggest links between texts, contexts and criticism suggestions for further reading. Part of the Routledge Guides to Literature series, this volume is essential reading for all those beginning detailed study of The Catcher in the Rye and seeking not only a guide to the novel, but a way through the wealth of contextual and critical material that surrounds Salinger’s text.
"Gale Study Guides to Great Literature is a unique reference line composed of three series: "Literary Masters, Literary Masterpieces and "Literary Topics. Convenient, comprehensive and targeted toward current coursework, these guides place authors, titles and topics into context for high school and college students as well as general researchers. Each "Literary Masters volume introduces a significant author, covering basic biographical information. The related "Literary Masterpieces volume explores a major title from this author's works in detail. Finally, the "Literary Topics volume places the author and work within a relevant literary movement or genre.
J. D. Salinger's novel, <I>The Catcher in the Rye celebrated its fiftieth anniversary of publication in 2001. <I>The Catcher in the Rye: New Essays presents a variety of new approaches to this extremely popular and intensely influential novel, ranging from the examination of the intertextual relationship between <I>The Catcher in the Rye and Cormac McCarthy's <I>All the Pretty Horses, to the evaluation of Salinger's mythic place in American film and popular culture, to the interrogation of what it means for a reader to claim that a novel such as <I>The Catcher in the Rye has changed his or her life. These essays provide new commentary and new insights, and demonstrate the continuing relevance of Salinger, <I>The Catcher in the Rye, and Holden Caulfield to American culture and literature and, in turn, to American cultural and literary studies.