The Catcher In The Rye Issues And The Relevance Of The Book In Society

September 13, 2022

J. D. Salinger authors the classic American novel “The Catcher in the Rye.”

The book was written for adults; however, teenagers read it more due to its themes of anger and alienation. The book is a critique of superficiality in society. The Catcher in the Rye themes includes complex issues such as innocence, identity, belonging, loss, connection, sex, and depression. The novel’s protagonist, Holden Caulfield, symbolizes defiance in young people everywhere.

The book is not only popular among adults but read more among the young generation. The book continues to maintain its level of popularity over the years. You can read many “The Catcher in the Rye” essays for free on various online services. In any available essay, you can find a description of the main character, comparisons with other characters, and other works. You can also discover the issues presented in the book and a great deal of additional information.

What Questions are Raised in the Book?

The Pain of Growing Up

Most critics agree that J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is a bildungsroman. It is a genre that follows the development of a young protagonist into adulthood. Although it is appropriate to discuss the book in such terms, Holden Caulfield is an atypical protagonist as his primary objective is to fight against the maturation process itself. Holden has a difficult time dealing with complexity and is afraid of change. He envisions a world in which everything is clear and unchanging. The fact that he cannot comprehend anything around him worsens his situation. Instead of admitting that maturity terrifies and perplexes him, Holden creates a fantasy that adulthood is a world of superficiality and hypocrisy (phoniness).


Regarding religion, Holden feels the same way he does regarding the majority of the other aspects of his life. Religion intrigues him because he believes it can provide a spiritual anchor in a depressing world. Holden, throughout the book, has a strong need for such an anchor. Holden finds Jesus attractive for many different reasons. Holden believes people become hypocrites due to rituals, theology, and dogma. Therefore, although Holden admires Jesus as a spiritual figure, he does not practise the religion that bears his name.


Throughout the book, Holden appears to be on the receiving end of victimisation from the world surrounding him. He makes an ongoing effort to navigate a world he has the impression that he does not belong. However, Holden’s estrangement from others is his means of shielding himself from danger. He exploits his seclusion as evidence that he is superior to everyone else around him. The reality is that his contacts with other people always leave him feeling confused and overpowered. Hence, his cynical sense of superiority serves as a form of self-protection.   

Popularity of the Book 

The Catcher in the Rye gained popularity in the past century and present. This suggests that the book is present in any storyline that involves quirky young people struggling to find their places in society. You can find the Catcher in the Rye review online explaining society’s challenges. The Catcher in the Rye inspired various rewrites, which have formed their genre. Readers can find a free essay sample of the book online. An essay example that depicts the problems in the book includes:

  1. Mental Health of Teens and the Catcher in the Rye by PapersOwl.
  2. Dangling Between Childhood and Adulthood by Edubirdie.
  3. Fear of Failure in The Catcher In The Rye by Bartleby.
  4. Catching Up with Expectations in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in The Rye by GradesFixer.
  5. Catcher In The Rye: The Problem Of Depression by Writing.

How Relevant is the Book Today?

The Catcher in the Rye teaches many valuable life lessons. It is a story that continues to have a place in the lives of today’s adolescents. The protagonist exemplifies the various challenges that today’s adolescents face. It demonstrates how today’s society deals with depression. It is one of the best books to read for growing adults. The book depicts a significant number of the issues that are prevalent in today’s society. Despite what you might believe, consider it safe to say that The Catcher in the Rye will continue to be an influential piece of literature. Its influence will be powerful because of the numerous themes that it is relatable to various readers. 


The Catcher of the Rye has done an excellent job explaining youths’ challenges on their journey to adulthood. It depicts how overwhelming transitioning can be in a confusing and depressing world. It is incredible how adolescents welcomed the book more than its intended audience. Although the book was banned, it remains relevant in today’s society.

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