The guardian of rye is one of the most read and best-known works of American literature of the twentieth century. JD Salinger, the author, managed to capture the essence of adolescence in this novel. Although the critics did not welcome the latter when it was released, the public admired him and, over time, the Guardian of rye became the literary work best reflecting adolescence. His direct and vulgar language retraces the reality perfectly, even if it generated a certain controversy when it was published in 1951.
Despite the changes that society has experienced, despite technological advances and the obvious differences between "yesterday's" and "today's" adolescents, Theegatrdien of ryeis a novel that has grown very well and continues to reflect today still this large part of adolescents who fail to adapt or to integrate into the system, who live this stage between childhood and adulthood as a period of survival, rebellion and internal struggle.
The plot? It is relatively simple: a young teenager named Holden Caulfield tells his experiences, in the first person. Holden is a bad student, he has been expelled from various schools and it seems that his situation is not improving since they have just informed him that he will be expelled from his current school where he is in boarding school. Holden decides not to inform his parents, he does not want to see them either, so he runs away in the middle of the night and returns to his city, New York. There, he lives in a very low-end hotel, and the adventure begins.
The guardian of ryepresents Holden's journey, that of any teenager disenchanted with the world (and proud of it), who seems to hate everything and everyone. A novel that has gone down in history as the favorite of psychopaths, misfits, people with mental problems and also the adolescent public (and not so adolescent).What are the shaves of his success? WhyThe guardian of rye is a novel so controversial?
"The truth is that there is nothing like saying something that no one understands for everyone to do what they want."
-The keeper of the rye-
The guardian of rye, the reflection of adolescence
Salinger's work has allowed many of us to be reflected in the character of Holden Caulfield, a feeling that will certainly not happen if we read this novel as adults. What is the key? The secret is to draw a portrait of an easily recognizable character, a character very close to reality, a young rebel flirting with misanthropy.
For many, adolescence would be nothing more than a transition to adulthood, another stage of life who passes without pain or glory; a step where to focus on studying, start choosing a future and take on new challenges and responsibilities.
For others, however, it is a question ofa much more complex and obscure stage, the new pressures and responsibilities, both personal and academic, which could constitute a major obstacle; beginning to understand the world and assuming the consequences of our actions sometimes makes this stage of life difficult. Alcohol, drugs, experimentation, first sex, knowing the world … all this can be very much present during adolescence.
In adolescence, we pay attention to music, cinema, media … we try to find our reflection, to feel identified and to see that, finally, we have a place, a reason in this life.Holden hates everything he lives, hates everyone, hates his school, hates the system, society, the world … The only people he cares for are his brothers, even his parents do not seem to matter to him.
One of the most striking aspects of this novel is the way it is told in the first person, using a vocabulary that we immediately associate with young people.Holden uses vulgarities, dirty words and vocabulary of his time, he refers to certain historical events such as the war of independence with words like "box", "roll" …
This expressiveness and naturalism we see in his language are precisely the culprits of the identification of which we have spoken previously.Even in physical descriptions, it is very close to realitywe see that there are allusions to "nails eaten" or acne, typical features of adolescence.
Another very interesting point of the novel is that it lacks action; indeed, if it is true that Holden flees and knows some trouble, nothing really remarkable happens. The action is static, like adolescence, Holden is content to tell his thoughts and criticize everything he can, think about his role, what he does not like, what he does and how uncomfortable the world is.The guardian of rye mythology of adolescence, a back and forth of infantile innocence to the absurdity of life at the end of this stage.
Holden himself is the one who defines himself as a guardian of rye, it's about what he wants to behe wants to be in charge of recovering the children who run to the abyss themselves, he wants to be the one who protects them from this fall, this hard blow that marks the end of childhood and the awareness of reality.
"Charming, here's the word I can not stand, it sounds so wrong that I feel sick every time I hear it."
-The keeper of the rye-
Holden Caulfield, the confession of some criminals
How is it possible that a book that reflects adolescence becomes the favorite of many criminals?Maybe this feeling of belonging to no place and those brackets of misanthropy that Holden conveys to us are some of the causes that made some murderers see some sort of Bible inThe guardian of rye.
It is easy to see in Holden, at certain moments of our life, a kind of reflection of ourselves, to see this novel as a mirror in which we look at ourselves and we feel understood, or less alone.
The list of crimes committed under the auspices of this work is quite important, although most have been forgotten due to their minor character or the anonymity of those who committed them. The most obvious case in our minds is undoubtedly the murder of John Lennon.
John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman, one of his admirers, who regarded Lennon as one of those children portrayed by Holden, running to the abyss.. Chapman believed that by murdering him he would preserve him from the troubles of the world and that, consequently, his innocence would survive. After committing the murder, Chapman read The guardian of ryeuntil the arrival of the police; in the book he had written "my confession" and signed it as Holden Caulfield.
Robert John Bardo and John Hinkley are other names that resonate when we talk about this novel, the first, murdered young actress Rebecca Schaeffer while he had a copy of the book on him; Hinkley, for his part, tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan, also carrying a copy of the novel.
The popularity of the work, coupled with the darkness that surrounds it, made the legacy of The guardian of rye be huge, urban legends or music that echoed this book "cursed".The guardian of ryeis a compulsory reading, which speaks openly and can be strongly recommended in adolescence.
"Life is a game and you have to live it according to the rules of the game."
-The keeper of the rye-