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  1. #1

    [Books] Catcher in the Rye

    Anyone else think that this book should be replaced in most modern curriculums? I had a discussion about this the other day with some friends and wanted to see other's opionions. About 5 years ago when I read it in class, my 55 year old woman teacher kept telling me how relatable it was to a teenage boy. Everyone in the class hated it and no one found Holden in anyway redeeming as a character.

    It seems to me that the only people truly affected by the book are from the baby boom generation and then it drops off after that.

    Has anyone who recently read this book felt like it was in anyway applicable to their life?

  2. #2
    Warchief Lansworthy's Avatar
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    I don't find any book really applicable in my life; but I agree, today's generation don't care for books such as this.

    I blame Harry Potter and Twilight.
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  3. #3
    I tried reading this book twice and still I haven't finished it. I really cannot relate to it at all.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lansworthy View Post
    I don't find any book really applicable in my life; but I agree, today's generation don't care for books such as this.

    I blame Harry Potter and Twilight.
    It doesn't have anything to do with those books. That's like saying Catcher in the Rye shouldn't have been accepted because Lord of the Rings was on the scene at the same time.
    My main problem with my English teacher was she told me it was a classic, and I told her a classic ages. This does not. Holden was applicable to baby boomers. Many in that generation felt like he did. This is no longer true. At one point she told me I didn't understand what it's like to be a teenage boy. My head about exploded.

  5. #5
    Great Guns n' Roses song, haven't read the book sadly. I have it on my bookshelf for like 20 years. I like to read books in their original language but mine is in Turkish.

  6. #6
    Catcher in the Rye is a dated book. Times change, so no, I don't think that it applies to anybody in this day and age. It's still a classic, so I guess I still have respect for the author I suppose, but I didn't like the book. Not my cup of tea at all.

  7. #7
    You think it doesn't applie to teenagers these days just because it takes place like 50 years ago? Having read quite some books this is the only one that really fascinated me, being 17 i was feeling exactly like Holden frustrated, hating phonies,not knowing what to do with life,etc. Even though it refers to an older age.for me it's the best book i had the chance to read so far while holden is one of the most realistic and honest book characters. So overall imo is still a must for a teenager.
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  8. #8
    Fluffy Kitten Badpaladin's Avatar
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    It was applicable if you were a teenager in the 60's. Hooray. It should be replaced.
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    The Lightbringer Skelington's Avatar
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    I thought it was very boring. Dont get me wrong, i read and take much from a lot of classic books, enjoying most if not all.

  10. #10
    Just because the book isn't as applicable to young people today does not mean it lacks literary value. It is a significant part of literary history because of how well it captures the experience of baby boomers. I didn't particularly enjoy the book either, but a knowledge of Catcher in the Rye and its themes does add something to ones understanding of American literature. I fail to see why it isn't an appropriate book for a literature class.

    Most "classical" education isn't about things that are directly applicable to the students everyday lives. It is about building a knowledge base for the student which they can draw, reflect, and converse upon/about as they age. It seems as though Catcher in the Rye served that purpose even for the OP.

  11. #11
    Read it three times now. Horrific book, poorly written, unrelatable characters. No idea why it gained "classic" status.

  12. #12
    Pandaren Monk mööh's Avatar
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    I had to read it for my swedish class. And all i thought while reading was "whine whine whine whine". It was so dull...I even heard this book was banned... I don't understand why.
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  13. #13
    I read this book in high school around '97-'98, I enjoyed it.

  14. #14
    Mechagnome Synaia's Avatar
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    i never heard of this book before.

    When i was in highschool we could choose the books we wanted to read for ourself.

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    Old God apepi's Avatar
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    I read it, it was a little boring, but I think it has such a real life approach to things, I liked it.
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    Free Food!?!?! Tziva's Avatar
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    I strongly dislike the book and find the main character so repulsive and obnoxious that is difficult to care about him even a little bit. I've found archetypal-villain characters in other books more sympathetic. Even back when I was a teenager with usual teenager angst, I hated Holden Caulfield.

    I know a surprising amount of people who love the book and claim to identify with the Holden. I'm not sure how, since these are decent people I am talking about, and I cannot fathom how any of them can possibly "identify" with a dramaqueen so self-righteous and annoying. He is supposed to represent the restless youth and teenage rebellion of his time, but I don't even think he does that particularly well since he is far more whiny than rebellious.

    This thread is genuinely the first time I've seen more people dislike than like the book.
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  17. #17
    The Patient
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orcbert View Post
    It seems to me that the only people truly affected by the book are from the baby boom generation and then it drops off after that.
    K.....I'm a baby-boomer (granted, latter half). It was required reading for us (early 70's), I hated it, I don' think anyone liked it and I don't think anyone found it applicable to themselves. See, somethings haven't changed! Who knows why some books get classic status and others don't. *shrugs*

    That being said, I am also one of the few people I have ever known who actually enjoyed Moby Dick.....enough to read it several times. (I know, nothing to do with the OP)

  18. #18
    I've always wanted to read this book to see what all of the fuss is about. It seems to be very controversial, and I find it kind of chilling that both Mark Chapman and Robert Bardo carried the book around with them after committing murders.

    Mark Chapman's obsession with the book is what freaks me out the most; he became obsessed with the "anti-phoniness" mindset of Holden Caulfield, and this drove him to kill John Lennon, who he viewed as a phony (He sang about a world with no possessions, yet had millions of dollars, and luxury yatchs and mansions etc.)
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  19. #19
    I had to read this book when I was 15. But I didn't finish it.
    The main character was pissing me off too much. I also don't find anything funny or "cool" when the author writes a book in derp teen language.

  20. #20
    The Insane
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lansworthy View Post
    I don't find any book really applicable in my life; but I agree, today's generation don't care for books such as this.

    I blame Harry Potter and Twilight.
    ... Why? Why blame two of the book series that actually managed to get kids and teens into reading like never before?

    OT: I read it some years ago, it was terrible. I wanted to punch Holden in the face, numerous times. But it's one of those "Great American Novels!", that are all horrible and insanely overrated.

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