?

have you read 'catcher in the rye'? [females only, please]

  1. no

    40.0%
  2. no, i wouldn't want to

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. yes, and i hated it

    10.0%
  4. yes, and i loved it

    30.0%
  5. i started to read it and didn't care to finish it

    20.0%
  1. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    re 'catcher in the rye'... had to ask...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mammamaia, Apr 29, 2014.

    does anyone know [or care to guess] what percentage of this book's fans were/are female?

    does anyone know any teenage girl who's ever wanted to read past the first page of this opus?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I've never read it but after seeing a documentary on JD Salinger, now I want to. From the documentary, I got the impression I would not have enjoyed the book as much without having that background knowledge about it.
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I read it way back when—late 60s—voluntarily. I was in my late teens, 19-ish. I remember I was in my first year of college. It wasn't required reading, but was fashionable, and lots of students were reading it. I remember I had borrowed somebody's copy. But you know, I can't remember a thing about it. I think I enjoyed it, but not enough to ever read it again, or even to remember it.

    There isn't a 'read it and forgot it' option in the poll ...that's what I would have chosen!
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Never read it. It's low on my "gotta read that classic" list.
     
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  5. Holden Caufeild
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    Holden Caufeild New Member

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    As a male I will not respond to the poll but I just felt as though it would be necessary to weigh in here.

    I read it in my high school English class last fall and there wasn't a single student male or female who wasn't entertained. Sure, there is a male protagonist who has a somewhat sexist 1950's POV but once you get past the setting and norms of that setting I think just about everyone can relate to what its like to be a bitter, isolated teenager trying to be heard in a cold, unforgiving and most of all completely phony world.
     
  6. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not interested in reading about bitter isolated teenagers. Didn't read about teenagers when I was a teenager.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is part of why I suspect I will never appreciate it--I think I'm just too old to really get, even trying to remember my younger self, the mood of the book. But I ought to give it a try all the same.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    My sister, for one. She raved about it from beginning to end. I did not read it in my youth, but decided to when I did a kind of literary inventory-taking in my 40s. I can see the attraction for teens, but to me Holden Caufield was self-pitying and self-absorbed.
     
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  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    My girlfriend never felt the need to read it. I actually think it's an overrated book, so I never tried to get her to read it.

    Perhaps girls don't feel the need to read it because they don't experience teenage angst like boys do. Just a theory.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I loved it when I read it in high school. I read it again a few years later. It's in my TBR pile because I want to read it again -- I don't know whether I'll love it as much now as I did then, and would like to find out.
     
  11. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    ??? It's always been my impression that teen girls felt MORE angst than teen boys. Or do you mean that the angst is of such a different sort that you don't think they'd relate to Holden?
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This.
     
  13. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    How do you feel they differ?
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The sources of angst are different. Boys worry the most about achievement in school/work and acceptance by others, whereas girls worry the most about appearance and self-consciousness (source: "Teen Obsession: Competing Images of Adolescents in American Culture" by Regan Rhea). The way boys and girls handle this angst also seems to be different. From my experience (I'm sure there are studies to back this up), boys are more likely to engage in harmful/destructive behavior, including excessive drinking, fighting, and drug use.

    Also, there was a thread a while back about something known as the angst canon, which is a body of literature that teenagers tend to read. The books read by boys were of a different nature than those read by girls. For example, boys tend to read The Catcher in the Rye and The Stranger, whereas girls tend to read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I don't know how much societal expectation factors into that selection, but perhaps the choices depend on how boys and girls handle angst. Here's the original article from BBC.
     
  15. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting. I dunno -- all the girls I knew, including me, were more worried about achievement in school and work and general acceptance than appearance and self-consciousness. (Not that those were not also present.) But maybe teens are different these days. Or maybe all my social circle was just weird.
     
  16. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read it two times. The first time I hated it, the second I liked it

    The first time I hated Holden. He was a whiny boy who hated almost everything around him. I actually thought he was phony, just like the world he hated so much. He literary made me very angry. I was nervous when reading the book.
    The second time I still didn't like Holden, but I liked the book. When I finished reading it, I found it interesting that some of the problems in the 40's-50's which Salinger explained in the book, are still present in today's world.

    Maybe the reason I hated it the first time was that I was forced to read it and I don't like to be forced to read certain material.
    The second I read it volunteraly, that was also when I already decided I'd like to be a writer so I was more attentive when reading the book.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks for all the input, folks...

    in homage to the late, great arte johnson:
    'Ve-rrry interesting!'
     
  18. We Are Cartographers
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  19. Bryan Romer
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    Perhaps I'm not very sympathetic, but why should I bother reading about a whiny unlikable teen? I read a synopsis of the book and from what I see most of his problems were due to carelessness, lack of foresight, and lack of self confidence, mixed with a healthy dose of prejudices.

    My younger life was no easier than his but without all the angst. Even my first encounter with a prostitute went off amicably and according to plan. Yes, as a teenager it is obvious that there are lots of people with more authority than you, and yes it often does not feel good. The world doesn't exist to make you feel good. But just looking out of the window would show you lots of people living worse lives and having no hope at all of ever growing into a better one. If you want something, you fight for it. Not whine. And no, I was not born into a 1 percenter family or a trust fund.
     
  20. We Are Cartographers
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  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I hate talking about this book but no, it's not a novel about angst.

    Sure Holden is gruff in the novel, but he's not acting that way because of teenage hormones, it's post-traumatic stress. Holden sees his friend hang himself, and spends the novel wondering around searching for meaning in life, and some sign someone cares about his troubles. He's not a philosopher - he's a mentally damaged young man who finds a world that doesn't care about his sickness and doesn't know how to help. Holden needs a therapist, not our praise as some sort of counter-culture icon.
     
  22. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    You know, maybe I'll read it again ...as an adult...
     
  23. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    @Lemex, the suicide is only briefly mentioned near the end of the novel. I don't think it's as significant as you're making it out to be. My opinion of course.
     
  24. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    That's exactly why it's significant. Holden mentions it almost incidentally, but then never brings it up again, and a death is a pretty big deal for a teenager. What's the kid hiding? Remember that in fiction the narrator and the author are not always the same person, or 'voice' would be a better word.
     
  25. We Are Cartographers
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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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