Boekverslag: The Catcher in the Rye
Title: The Catcher in the Rye
Publisher: The Penguin Group
First publication: 1951
The story start's at the last night from Holden at Pencey, a Boarding
School he is at. He has been kicked out of school because he didn't have
good marks. It's almost Christmas and he supposed to go home in the
vacation on Wednesday. He decides to go a few days earlier to New York,
where his parents live, but he doesn't go home, because he doesn't want
his parents to know he has been kicked out of school again, since it
happened before. He takes the first train to New York and checks in at
some hotel downtown.
That night he goes to Ernie's, a nightclub. He has been there before
with his Brother D.B. and he likes the place because he can get booze
there, he's only 16 years old. At the club, he dances the whole evening
with a blond girl, but she's only interested in celebrities so he goes
back to the hotel. At the hotel, the elevator-boy, called Maurice, says
that he's a pimp and that he can arrange him a five-dollar whore. He
takes the deal and a few minutes later the whore, named Sunny, arrives
at his room. He was very excited because he thought that he could loose
his virginity that night, but when she takes her sweater off, he
realizes that he doesn't feel sexy or something so he sends her away
after he paid her. She want's ten dollar instead of the five dollar he
had arranged with the elevator-boy. He doesn't give her the ten dollar
and a few minutes later, she comes back with Maurice. He still doesn't
want to pay and Maurice smacks him two punches in his face. Holden
starts to cry. He pays now. Sunny and Maurice leave and Holden goes to
The morning after, he gives Sally, his formal girlfriend, a call and
they go see a theater-show at two 'o clock. They spend the whole
afternoon together and after the show the go ice-skating. Later, in a
bar, he tells her he wants to go to the woods with her and get a job so
that they can merry each other. He was really serious. Sally didn't want
to go and he called her a 'serious pain in the ass'. She really 'hit the
ceiling' when he said that and she ran away. He felt lonely. He phoned
an old friend of him to get a drink together that night. They meet in
some bar downtown. It isn't going well between them and after a while,
and some (alcoholic) drinks, Holden's friend, Carl Luce, leaves. Holden
stays at the bar. He drinks a lot that night and he gets really drunk.
When he's drunk, he calls Sally to apologize for his behavior that
afternoon. He screws it up. She tells him he's really drunk and he
really is. He goes to Central Park to go to the lake. He stays there for
a while trying to find the ducks in the lake, but when he gets conscious
again, he goes to his parents house, to sneak in and go to Phoebe, his
ten year old sister. It seems that his parents aren't home and they talk
a lot. He really likes Phoebe and she is very surprised to see him in
the middle of the night. Suddenly their parents come home and Holden
hides in the closet. When his parents are in bed, he leaves and goes to
Mr. Antolini, a formal teacher from him who is a very good friend of
Holden. Holden tells him the whole story. He may sleep there that night,
but when Holden wakes up at a moment, he sees mister Antolini feeling at
him so he gets out of his house as soon as possible. He goes to the
station and stays there for the rest of the night. He decides to run
away and he writes Phoebe a letter. It says that he will run away to the
west and that she has to come to the park after her school. He brings it
to her school.
When she comes, she is carrying suitcases with her; she wants to go with
him. He tells her that is not possible and they got an argument. It
causes him to let go of the idea and they make up. Holden'll go home
The perspective in the book is at Holden Caulfield.
The main character is Holden Caulfield. He's a sixteen-year old boy and
just got kicked out of another Boarding School: Pencey. His father is a
lawyer and he's pretty rich. Holden has a pretty big mouth to other
people and that brings him in danger sometimes. He once got a punch from
his roommate for calling him a moron all the time. He's afraid of
people. He hates 'phonies', people who have an attitude. Holden liked
his younger brother Allie, who died when Holden was a kid. He also
swears a lot, using words like 'goddam and damn'.
The minor characters are Ward Stratlater (a roommate at Pencey), Robert
Ackley (also a roommate at Pencey), Jane Callagher (one of Holden's
friends from the past), D.B. Caulfield (his brother), Phoebe Caulfield
(his sister), Mr. Antolini (his teacher) and Sally Hayes (she used to be
The book has 192 pages. The told time is about four days. The book has
no flashbacks, although Holden tells you about some things what happened
in the past but you don't really witness them.
The story takes place in New York City.
I don't think the book is exciting or something like that. It's a very
realistic book. Usually I don't like realistic books too much, but this
one is different. I kind of liked it.
Theme and motives
The theme of the book is how you can be honest and to go your own way
and at the same time be useful in the 'adults-world', witch isn't always
fair and sincere. The theme is put in the book in the form of Holden
Caulfield. He tries to act like an adult, but he can't stand the
hypocrisy and the insincere witch he finds in the 'adults-world'. He's
afraid to grow up and lose his innocence and honesty, but he realizes he
can't be a kid for the rest of his life. This problem causes a crisis in
Connection between title and theme
The title can be explained as this: Holden want's to be the 'catcher in
the rye' when he grows up. That means somebody who's catching playing
kids when they fall of a cliff. The connection between the title and the
theme is that Holden want's to rescue kids who will fall from their
innocent 'kids-life' into the world of the adults.
Kind of book
The book is a (realistic) novel.
I think the book is a very nice book because it is so realistic. You've
been put into the mind of Holden, a boy who lives on the streets of New
York for a few days. You get really into the book. I really like it. The
language is American English and it's the language you hear in movies
and American series a lot. It is easy to understand and I like it a lot.
Connection between other books
I think the main connection between this book and 'Lord of the Flies'
and 'Cry, the beloved country' is, the realism witch is in all of the
three books I red. I don't think that there are any other connections
between this book and the other two books.
I didn't know what kind of novel it was when I rent it in the library so
I can't say if my expectation has come true.
Hij publiceerde zijn werk onder de schrijversnaam J.D. Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye (De vanger in het graan) is ongetwijfeld zijn beroemdste werk. Teleurgesteld in de literaire wereld besloot hij vanaf 1963 om zijn werk niet meer te publiceren. Hij leidt sindsdien een teruggetrokken bestaan in Cornish (New Hampshire).
- The Catcher in the Rye
- Jerome David Salinger
- Meer boeken van:J.D. Salinger