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Free Study Guide-The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger-Free BookNotes
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LITERARY INFORMATION

The Catcher in the Rye, although an original work, bears resemblance to previous works by Salinger, as well as to works of other writers. To fully understand the novel, the reader must have the proper frame of reference. While The Catcher In The Rye is Salinger’s only novel, he published a number of short stories. Seymour Glass is a protagonist of quite a few. Holden Caulfield resembles Seymour Glass, as well as all of Salinger’s other protagonists, whose common trait is that they are all victims of the society they wish to rebel against. They are hypersensitive individuals who carry deep scars from interacting with the flawed world around them, a world characterized by "phoniness". Outside the Salinger canon, Holden Caulfield can be compared with the protagonist of Mark Twain’s The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn. Like Huck Finn, Holden is also seeking, though metaphorically, a home, a place where he can be accepted and truly belong.


There is also a parallel between The Catcher In The Rye and William Saroyan’s "The Human Comedy". There is an orthographic as well as metrical similarity between the names of the two protagonists, Holden Caulfield and Homer Macanlay. They also have similar ages, for Holden is sixteen, and Homer passes as sixteen. Both works also have an objectionable character called Ackley. Both boys have trouble finding a place in which to fit. Holden Caulfield, however, is much more well known than Homer Macanlay and becomes a symbol of sensitivity for the hippie cult movement in the 60’s.

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Free Study Guide-The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger-Free Synopsis
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