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The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

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The Catcher in the Rye FAQ Study Bundle

by eNotes

  • Released July 29, 2022
  • Literature subject
  • 24 pages
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What is the main message of The Catcher in the RyeThe main message of The Catcher in the Rye is that no single individual can save the world. Holden wants to protect all the world’s innocents to compensate for his brother Allie’s death, but he starts to understand that he needs to let the people he loves, like Phoebe, take risks.


J. D. Salinger published The Catcher in the Rye, his most popular and acclaimed work, in 1951. In the novel, adolescent narrator Holden Caulfield leaves his prep school, having been expelled, and travels to New York City for an unsupervised weekend. Over the course of the narrative, Holden gradually reveals his feelings about his classmates, his family, and a tragedy that has left him suffering.


Holden Caulfield is perhaps the novel’s most indelible creation. His narrative voice is inflected with a distinctive vernacular, a cynicism towards the adult world, and a thread of melancholy and youthful sensitivity. The novel offers a portrait of a teenage boy at the threshold between childhood and adulthood. Indeed, much of the novel’s tension arises from Holden’s consciousness of the pain of that transition as he undergoes it. Salinger’s insightful look at adolescent alienation and rebellion has made The Catcher in the Rye one of the most widely read books of the twentieth century.


This Study Bundle gives you answers to the most frequently asked questions about the novel. Whether you’re studying for a quiz, checking how well you’ve understood the text, or are just curious to see what others have asked about the book, this eNotes study bundle has it covered.