The Catcher in the Rye Essay

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In the following excerpt, Baumbach explores the meaning of "innocence" in The Catcher in the Rye.

J D Salinger's first and only novel, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), has undergone in recent years a steady If over insistent devaluation. The more It becomes academically respectable, the more it becomes fair game for those critics who are self-sworn to expose every manifestation of what seems to them a chronic disparity between appearance and reality. It is critical child's play to find fault with Salinger's novel. Anyone can see that the prose is mannered (the pejorative word for stylized); no one actually talks like its first-person hero Holden Caulfield. Moreover, we are told that Holden, as poor little rich boy, is too precocious and specialized an adolescent for his plight to have larger-than-prepschool significance. The novel is sentimental; it loads the deck for Holden and against the adult world; the small but...

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This section contains 2,563 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Catcher in the Rye Study Guide
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