1. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    Catcher in the Rye: Holden Caulfield

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Cyrano, Jan 29, 2010.

    I've read Catcher in the Rye many times, and I've done some research on it, and it seems a large amount of people claim to relate to Holden's personality and mindset. For example, the man who shot John Lennon carried a copy of the book, and apparently shot him to stop him from becoming a "phony."

    For all of those who have read the book, how much do you think you relate to Holden Caulfield?

    On another note, rest in peace J.D. Salinger.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I can't relate to him at all. I can't see myself doing any of the things he does or even thinking the way he does. I know that his speech is heavily influenced by the speech at the time, so I'm guessing there are some other things that would be more relatable had I grown up in that era. I still think the book is great, however.
     
  3. MCWhite
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    MCWhite Contributing Member

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    I think Holden is a character who is very easy to relate to- and that's probably intentional. Personally, as I read the book, there are so many moments when I think "Exactly! He's completely right!" Of course, there are also moments where I think, "What's he thinking?" But those are few and far between. Most people will be hard-pressed not to find at least a moment or two when they can agree and relate to him. And come to like him.
     
  4. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read in the news this morning that he had died. I respect that he never gave rights to hangers-on the make a film or a follow-up book. I hope his Estate continue to respect his wishes too.


    I don't relate to Holden so much now, but my 13 year old rebellious self certainly did. Holden is the quintessential voice of young disaffection so the book is bound to appeal to a lot of people, whether young or old. The fact that Chapman was a fan of Catcher in the Rye and then shot Lennon is neither here nor there. There is absolutely nothing about the book that is a call-to-arms for murderers.
     
  5. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    I remember reading a funny story about this. A movie company asked Salinger if they could make a movie adaptation, and Salinger said yes, so long as he would be the one who played Holden. And I believe he was in his 40's or 50's at the time. He was obviously turned down.

    And there was another author who made an unapproved sequel to the book about an elderly Holden running away from a nursing home or something to head back to New York. Salinger immediately brought a halt to this, stopped the printing and threatened to suit the author.

    He was a true author, one who had the integrity and respect not to sell out, and through that kept his book a sacred masterpiece.
     

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