Boekverslag: The Catcher in the Rye
Little, Brown and Company, (1951) Title: The Catcher in the Rye refers to a line in a poem by the Scottish poet Robert Burns. The character Holden thinks the line is ?if a body catches a body in the rye? instead of the actual line in the poem which is ?if a body meets a body in the rye?. His sister Phoebe corrects him. Holden tells his sister that it makes him imagine children playing in a rye-field, while he is standing on the edge of the nearby crazy cliff so he can catch them if they fall, and send them back to the field. He is therefore the catcher in the rye. Holden knows it is a crazy, unrealistic idea, but he would love to save all the children from the evil of adulthood. It is the only thing he really would like to be. Summary: The Catcher in the Rye is about a boy named Holden Caulfield, who is sixteen years old. Holden studies at Prep Pencey, a boarding school in Agerstown,Pennsylvania. He is bright and tries to be very tough (in words, not in power or something, because he ?s quite small and tiny). Before the end of the first trimester, Holden is suspended from the school for the third time, because of his indifferent attitude and bad grades. At Pencey, they give guys quite frequently the ax, because of their good academic rating.It was the Saturday of the football game with Saxon hall. (The game was supposed to be a very big deal around Pencey, but Holden wasn?t down at the game, he had just got back fro New York with the fencing team and decides to say goodbye to his favourite teacher Mister Spencer, who is at home with the flu. Wile drinking a cup of hot chocolate (it was cold as a witch?s teat), Spencer tries to justify the note he gave to Holden, by summing up Holden?s faults. When Holden went to his room, he started being irritated by Ackley and after that he got a fight with his roommate Stradlater. (Stradlater was dating a girl with whom Holden was in love the previous summer.) Holden decided not to wait until the end of the trimester but to leave Pencey straight away. He took the train to New York, where he met one of his schoolmate?s mothers. His parents lived in New York, but he decided not to go to his parents straight away but to stay in a hotel until the beginning of the Christmas holiday. He spent his time in New York drinking, walking and taking cabs through the city with no idea of what to do. By that time, he got pretty sensitive and started talking about his sister and brothers. He was desperately searching for someone he really could talk to, so that night he went to the lobby, where a band was playing in the Lavender room. At the club, he danced the whole evening with a blond girl, Bernice, but she's only interested in celebrities, so he went to Ernie?s, a nightclub in Greenwich village. Ernie?s a big fat colored guy that really can play the piano. He has been there before with his Brother D.B. and he likes the place because he could get booze there, he's only 16 years old. At Ernie?s he met Lillian Simmons, a girl witch whom his brother used to go around with her for a while. During this search he spent a great deal of money and lost his illusions. At the hotel an elevator-boy called Maurice offered him the services of a prostitute in his room. He accepted and a few minutes later the girl, Sunny, arrives. He is still a virgin and would like to change that. However that evening he didn?t feel sexy enough for some reason so he simply gave her the money and would like to sends her away, when she started yelling it was 10 bucks. Hewouldn?t gave her the money and afterwards her pimp came to his room, gave him a couple of punches, and stole some of his money. The next morning, Holden gave his ex- girlfriend Sally a call and invited her out to the theatre. During the date, Sally met an old friend with whom she has an intellectual conversation. The friend irritated Holden. When they were alone, Holden suggested that they could escape the city-life, so the two of them could live in the woods. They could start an easy life, get a job, and marry each other. Sally says ?no? and called him a ?pain in the ass? and left him. Holden took his plans very seriously. After this, he became even more disillusioned and lonely. He swore to God he?s a madman.He gave old Jane a buzz (again) but her phone didn?t answer, so he gave Carl Luce a call. (He was his Student Adviser when he was at Wooton) They had a drink together in a bar downtown, where they get into an argument and Carl left. Holden stayed and had a lot to drink, became very drunk and finally he got Sally on the foon. He called Sally to apologize for his behavior that afternoon. He screwed it up. She told him he's really drunk and he really is irritating her.He went to the lake in Central Park and stayed there for a while wondering where the ducks are. When he regained his senses he decided to visit his sister Phoebe, so he sneaked into his parents? house. It seemed that his parents weren?t home and Holden found the integrity when he is looking for through his sister sleeping. He adored his little intelligent sister Phoebe and she was very surprised to see him in the middle of the night. He told her he got the ax and all, they had a very good conversation. Suddenly their parents came home and Holden hided in the closet. When his parents were in bed, he left and went to Mr. Antolini, a formal English teacher and one of the less people Holden still trusts, instead of going back to the hotel. Holden told him the whole story and he was allowed to sleep there that night. But when Holden woke up at a moment, he saw mister Antolini feeling at him so he got out of his house as quickly as possible. Holden taught Antolini might be homosexual, so he spent the rest of the night at Central Station. After this last disillusionment, Holden decided to run away, and told Phoebe about his plans-she said she wanted to go with him. He told her that she couldn?t. They got into an argument, as a result of which Holden changed his plans and took her to the zoo instead. He was deeply happy when he saw her looking so nice and keeping going around and around, in her blue coat.In the end Holden became ill and was diagnosed with tuberculosis. His parents sent him to a sanitarium for psychological treatment, but he didn?t felt like talking about it, so we don?t know anything more, accept that he tells us: don?t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody. Time: The story takes place over a period of four days. The book doesn?t show flashbacks. Sometimes Holden talks about things that have happened in the past, but you don?t really witness them. Characters and relationships: Holden Caulfield: Holden Caulfield is the main character, a sixteen-year-old boy who has just been suspended from Pencey Preparatory School. His father is a Jewish lawyer in New York and earns quite a lot. Holden is a nice person but has a big mouth. He keeps calling people names, doesn?t want to belong to a group and hates people with an attitude. He tries to keep proving himself especially to his fellow students by exaggerating. During the story he smokes a lot and consumes a large amount of alcohol. Also his has a kind of psychological problem that explores during the story. Cautfields? language is very interesting in that case that it is very small, but he referrers to the most unthinkable, childish objects. The style is almost only oral language used by Holden Caulfield, who speaks in the American teenage slang of the 1950?s. He often uses the words as they are spoken, for example: ?Sonuvabitch?, ?C?mon?, and ?Wuddayacallit?, ?phony?, ?moron?? I like the way he observes people and he things about stuff.Ward Stradlater: Ward Stradlater is Holden?s roommate at Pencey. He is a senior and is eighteen years old. He always dresses well and thinks he is the most handsome young man at Pencey. Robert Ackley: Robert Ackley is another of Holden?s roommate s at Pencey. Robert Ackley is very untidy. Everyone calls him simply Ackley and he has a lousy character.Jane Callagher: Jane Callagher is his Holden?s ex-girlfriend. She is funny, and she and Holden get along very well. Sally Hayes: Sally Hayes is another of Holden?s former girlfriends. Although Holden doesn?t want to admit it, he is very fond of her. D.B. Caulfield: D.B. Caulfield is Holden?s older brother. He is writer living in New York and at the end there are plays of him. He wrote he book ?The secrete goldfish?. Holden finds that he prostituted himself.Phoebe Caulfield: Phoebe Caulfield is Holden?s ten-year-old sister. Holden believes his sister understands him and he likes her the most of all people he knows.Allie Cautfield:His dead little brother who he misses so hardly that it sometimes drives him crazy when he thinks of it. Theme: The theme is the painful and difficult transition from childhood to adulthood and the attitude of society in general. Community: New York, downtown in a crumby hotel. Most time of those four days he spent in night bars and streets.Own opinion:Till now, it is the best book I ever read in English; it?s simply one of the best books I ever read. Although it was a little boring in the beginning, it fascinated me and after a few pages I was totally absorbed by the story and read it twice! I really like his style of writing and the attitude he gave to his persons. I felt a lot of empathy for the main character and it was really strange to discover at the end that he went to a sanitarium because many times a felt just the same as he did and taught that his way of observing people was comparable with mine.
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