The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a novel narrated by a 16-year-old named Holden Caulfield that details time he spends in Manhattan after learning he is expelled from school. One of the first things that happens after he learns this is he gets into a fight with his roommate Stradlater after he comes back from a date with a girl he likes named Jane, and he intensely questions him about what happened on the date. After that, he takes a train to Manhattan, and goes to a hotel because he does not want his parents to know he left. Over the next few days, he spends time with and tries to call several people including an old girlfriend, two nuns, Jane, and a former student advisor. He then sneaks into his own apartment to see his sister, and tells him of his fantasy of being “the catcher in the rye”, a person who catches small children as they are about to run off a cliff. a dream he acquired by misremembering a poem. Later, he takes his sister to the zoo, and though it is raining, he is so happy he doesn’t care. The major theme of this novel is innocence, highlighted by the fact that all of the people he admire protect or represent innocence, such as Jane. In Jane especially, we can see how much Caulfield values innocence when he is bothered by the fact she may have had to deal with sexual advances from her stepfather and from Stradlater.
This book has stood the test of time because