finished “the catcher in the rye” this afternoon.
to be honest, i wouldn’t have understood why this was a classic if i didn’t googled it.
the book is filled with profanities – god damned, son of a bitch, fuck. the boy also enjoys saying “that kills me.” and deems everything and everyone to be phony. reading words like that page after page fills me with angst. i guess the book succeeded in making you feel the angst of a teenage boy just like how “prozac nation” succeeded in making me feel really depressed with the depressed girl.
to a certain extend, i felt really sad reading the book because the male protagonist obviously had issues. it was painful to see how painful it was for him and everyone else around him. adolescence is a very complex stage of life to be in. i think he must have been very tormented by the death of his younger brother allie to be in the state he is in for he love his brother so dearly.
i enjoyed reading about his love for his younger sister phoebe and was immensely moved by how his younger sister packed her bags to leave with him when he wanted to leave new york and head west. it is always nice to know someone out there love you so dearly.
i think people who desires to be the catcher in the rye will end up like the boy in the book. the desire to protect, to save and to guard when not kept in check will eventually get out of hand. sometimes, i find myself wanting to be a catcher in the rye too and that is why i found the quote in the book especially meaningful.
“the mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” wilhelm stekel, psychoanalyst.
i have read 2 other books that are similar to “the catcher in the rye” – “the bell jar” by sylvia plath and “the perks of being a wallflower” by stephen chobosky.
all 3 books begins with a bright but troubled young adult whose view of the world are often very different from the norms. they eventually suffered and had to seek treatment for their meltdown. the ending of the book is often about the beginning of a recovery or the slow walk out of torment.
i think all of us goes through periods of lows in life. some episodes bigger than others in many different ways but we all want to walk out of it alive and better. mental sufferings like those in the books is a very lonely and painful journey.
highly recommend all 3 for reads.
my favourites in the following order:-
1. the bell jar – for being so beautifully tragic
2. the perks of being a wallflower – for being so poignant, offbeat and sweet.
3. the catcher in the rye – for being a classic.
ps: now reading “an education” by lynn barber.