The Catcher in the Rye

This study guide will help you analyze the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective. This analysis uses the 2010 edition of The Catcher in the Rye published by Penguin Books.

Presentation of the text

Title: The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

Author: J. D. Salinger

Genre: Novel

Jerome David Salinger (1919-2010) was an American writer best known for the novel The Catcher in the Rye. The novel gained popularity upon its publication and appealed to young readers, particularly teenagers and college students. Salinger also wrote short stories, most of which were published in magazines such as The New Yorker or Esquire. In his later years, Salinger became reclusive and published less. 

The Catcher in the Rye is considered Salinger’s best literary work and one of the best novels dealing with issues related to teenagers. The main character, Holden Caulfield, is an icon for teenage struggles and is considered one of the most important characters in American literature.


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

The Catcher in the Rye: reception and legacy

After its publication in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye got mixed reviews. In several interviews, Salinger claimed that Holden’s character was partly autobiographical and based on his experiences as a young boy. 

The novel became popular with the younger generation, as teenagers saw themselves and their struggles mirrored in Holden’s character. Because of the vulgar language, indecent references, and sexual themes, the book was banned in several countries and even in some US schools. Critics also complained that the book encouraged drinking and smoking among the young generation. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, several teachers who assigned The Catcher in the Rye in class were forced to resign...

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The Catcher in the Rye

  • 23.06.2022