Is Holden Caufield loved by the young readers of today? Or is he passé?

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edcon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Within readers of any generation, tastes in literary themes and characters vary widely. While it is true that many of the cultural references in The Catcher in the Rye are not likely to be well-understood by young people today, the essence of Holden's struggles is timeless and thus makes him relatable, if not lovable, to them.

The idea that Holden rejects many of the ideas, values, and trappings of his family's and social class's lives is still resonant for teenagers. Part of the healthy separation of adolescents and their parents as a stage of development involves questioning, and in some cases, spurning, the choices and expectations of adults. This is true of Holden, who looks askance at his father's profession, the vapidity of conversation with Sally Hayes, and the corruption he suspects of Mr. Antolini.

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The Catcher in the Rye

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