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How does J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye relate to current society? Is the...

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danielb77 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM via web

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How does J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye relate to current society? Is the novel still relevant?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted June 17, 2013 at 9:27 PM (Answer #1)

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Absolutely, Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is still relevant today! Back in Salinger's day, people didn't publicly discuss personal troubles--especially if they had to do with mental illness. Luckily, today, there is enough awareness and main stream acceptance into discussing mental illness so that something like what Holden experiences in the novel is less likely to happen to some other youth. The main character, Holden, exemplifies just how lost someone can get if there is no one for him to go to. Books that become instant classic hits are stories that represent bring up themes that cross many generations of time. So many teenagers feel like Holden as they distrust authority figures (teachers or parents) and look to experiment through other outlets in order to understand the adult world that they are entering. Teenagers try drugs, alcohol, and are promiscuous today just like they were fifty years ago, and that won't change in the future. The point is that if we have books like The Catcher in the Rye, then a discussion about its themes can be opened to explore the human characteristics that are very pronounced and natural.


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