The Catcher In The Rye The Ducks

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The Catcher In The Rye The Ducks Essay, Research Paper So where do the Ducks go in the Winter? It seems that serial killers have great taste in literature. Just go read their favorite books. There isn’t a Richard Bach or Harlequin Romance fan amongst them. Out of a morbid curiosity I read something that is said to have influenced Charles Manson (Stranger in a Strange Land) and I find the answers to questions that I’ve been asking for years. Nietzche may have influenced the Nazis but he’s also one of the most profound philosophers of our age. Maybe it’s a bit morbid to take book recommendations from serial killers, but who else can give you reading suggestions? Teachers? Friends? Oprah? Hell no! The Catcher in the Rye is the book preferred 9 times out of ten by

whackos, serial killers, and disgruntled teenagers. (ok, there’s not much difference in those categories but bear with me.) John Lennon was killed to promote this book. John Hinkley may have been trying to impress Jody Foster, but he was also a big Catcher in the Rye fan. The level of general craziness surrounding this book is so bad that Conspiracy Theory made it the running joke, even tracking Mel Gibson by monitoring purchases of The Catcher in the Rye. So why is this book so influential? Why do normal people have underlined copies in their personal library? Why is every book about whiney losers sitting around complaining about their lives, (where the major problem is that the damn author can’t think of a plot) compared favorably to The Catcher in the Rye? Because it’s

one of the best fucking books ever written! I read The Catcher in the Rye at the perfect age. I was 17, a frustrated freak of a high school student, seemingly doomed to perpetual virginity. To be exposed to Holden Caulfield in this condition is an epiphany that born-again Christian pretend to experience when they talk to Jesus. There is something unsettling about opening a book and reading something like: If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. Holden Caulfield is teen angst bullshit with a pickaxe. He’s

sarcastic, nasty, and completely unlikeable. He also doesn’t give a shit. He is every teenager caught between the shitty little games of high school (”you’re supposed to kill yourself if the football team loses or something”) and the fear of adulthood (”going to get an office job and make a lot of money like the rest of the phonies”). The greatness in Holden Caulfield is that what he has to say is better than a million Celestine Prophecies or anything said by Jonathan Livingston Seagull (save for the squawks after you shoot him) or Jesus (save for the apocryphal “hey Peter I can see your house from here”). Holden Caulfield says that life sucks, everyone is a phony, and you’ll be inevitably disappointed by everyone that you hold in awe. If you think that this

sounds awful, ask yourself one question. When was the last time you found any joy in watching Barney or the Care Bears? It isn’t just what he says but the way he says it. He goes through life making dead-on observations that completely shoot the kneecaps out from under the terminally self-righteous. When a successful mortician tells the school to follow his example and pray when things go bad, it is Holden Caulfield who points out that the guy is praying for more people to die. He’s depressed by nuns and annoyed by shallow girlfriends, while in love with his platonic friend. Even more interesting is the fact that Caulfield’s general pissed off attitude and his hormones are inextricably linked. He practically wants to kill his roommate, Stradlatter, because Stradlatter might