The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by reclusive author J.D. Salinger, which has frequently been required reading for high school students. The novel is a fictional account of Holden Caulfield, a depressed and alienated teenager, and a week he spends in New York.

Holden is a character study in teenage angst, with deep subtlety to his character increasingly revealed as the story continues. He derides everything as "phony," viewing the world around him as being filled with cynical falsehoods, but fails to realize that he himself is bitter and cynical. There are strong hints that he changed significantly after the death of his little brother, Allie, which occurs before the events of the novel.

The novel is written in a colloquial style, using the modern argot of teenagers in America, and narrated in the first person. This is intended to pull the reader into the story more thoroughly, without resorting to the highly-complex linguistics quirks of a book such as A Clockwork Orange.

The Catcher in the Rye has been subject to controversy for its strong use of profanity, particularly the Lord's name being used in vain 225 times,[1] and sexually explicit material.[2]