I'm stuck. I've read The Catcher in the Rye three times since I got it from Brad's collection. I've read The Crisis of Islam. I've read nearly all of The Invisibles. I understand not being able to write about the last two... they were so full of historical and geographical information that my head spins trying to recall any details. The Catcher in the Rye, though... I guess I want to analyze this book too much. I am amazed by this book and Holden's character. I just noticed the book was dedicated to Salinger's mother. I wonder if it was his way of helping her understand the way he was and the things he did and went through. Was Holden him? Yet another thing I'd like to analyze about the book. But, the reason I'm writing now, even though I can't get myself to do a proper review of the book, is because of two things that stood out in the book. I just can't NOT write about them any longer. I won't say as much as I could about them here, but I just want them OUT. I want to share them, because they were important and everyone should know them NOW.
Holden is disgusted by nearly everyone he talks about in the book. He has no direction and no interest. Crap, this really ties in with things from Ishmael and related books, but I won't go into that now. Anyway, when Holden's little sister asks what he would do if he could do anything, his response is beautiful. This guy that is disgusted by everything and everyone answers, "... I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."
I realize that it is older kids and adults that he is so often disgusted by, and that these are young kids in the field. I think his one desire is beautiful, and I still think it is more beautiful coming from Holden even though he wants to care for children before they become the adults he hates so much. It is not my desire, but I recognize it.
The other thing in the book actually ties into the previous thing, as Holden's one interest contradicts what someone foresee's in Holden's future. He is visiting an adult he actually has some respect for, and the guy tells him that he sees Holden dying for some noble cause someday, and he hopes Holden can keep that from happening. He writes down a quote and asks Holden to keep it. It reads, "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." This one stopped me in my tracks. I am scared as hell of the pain, but I would pour gasoline on myself and burn to wake people up, to try to make them see. If I really thought it would make a difference, I would do this even though I wouldn't be around to enjoy the benefits and be proud of what I did. Even though I don't believe in a heaven where I could look down and see. I would do this, and that fucker at work doesn't even think to recycle for his kids' future. Now I am told that my thinking is immature. And I understand this. It could be looked at as a relief that I won't have to burn, but I don't feel relief. I thought I knew a last resort to make a difference... now I need to rethink everything.
So much more to say on all of this, but I need to get ready for work...
Holy crap, I just realized that the idiot at work is a child at play in the field, not watching where he is going, and here I am trying to catch him. Maybe I do share Holden's desire.