The Catcher in the Rye Author:J. D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye is the story of angsty teenager Holden Caulfield's turbulent last few days before his Christmas Vacation. During these days, Holden leaves Pencey Prep, a boys' school he's been kicked out of, and takes off for a few nights alone in New York City. Holden tells the story as a monologue, from some sort of a... more » mental facility where he's recovering from the stress of the experiences he retells. Some of his experiences include being beaten, a run-in with a prostitute, perversion of a teacher and the overprotectiveness that he feels for his sister.
As he wanders around his little sister's school building and keeps finding swear words scribbled on the walls, Holden begins to envision himself as a guardian of children, someone who will protect their innocence. This hope is crystallized in a vision of himself as the catcher in the rye--a sort of guard at the edges of a field where children can run free and play, a guardian who can keep these kids from falling, in their exuberance, over the field's edges. As the book progresses, Holden seems to have decided that there can be no catcher, that all you can do is hope kids develop in the harsh world on their own.« less