J. D. Salinger, Author of the Controversial Story, “The Catcher in the Rye”

The Catcher in the Rye is a very controversial story. I am honestly not the biggest fan of this book, but I can see the controversy that surrounds this story with the mention of the main character, Holden, being expelled from school being one of the issues that parents may have with this book. But the author is even more interesting, he was a very odd writer.

Some odd happenings where The Catcher in the Rye happens to be:

  • Mark David Chapman said the explanation for why he killed John Lennon was in the book (MrGrath)
  • A copy of the book was found in the hotel room of John Hinckley, which was after they arrested him for attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan (Chilton)

J. D. Salinger died at the age of 91 on the 27th of January 2010. His full name was Jerome David Salinger, though he went by Jerry (Chilton). While he was in college, though he is a lot like Holden from The Catcher in the Rye with their shared issue of staying in school and talent in English and dealings with the fencing team, he used to brag about how he was destined for success, but when he finally attained that success with his book, The Catcher in the Rye, he found that it was not something he enjoyed. He moved out of New York and to New Hampshire, a place called Cornish to be specific (Chilton, McGrath). He guarded his privacy fiercely and fought against those who tried to publish biographies on him, even his own daughter Margaret and one of the ladies that he had an affair with (Chilton). He would also end relationships with those who gave information to the press (McGrath). Before writing his best seller, he was actually drafted into the army during WW2 and later sent to a hospital with what looked like PTSD (Chilton).

In a sense, J. D. Salinger and his famous main character of his best seller, The Catcher in the Rye, are very similar. They both hate socializing and hate when people don’t mind their business. They both also loved to keep their privacy. A good question though is, did Salinger model Holden after himself? Is he informing others about how he felt about boarding schools and other topics through this book? We many never know but we can guess.

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Chilton, Martin. “The Odd Life of Catcher in the Rye Author JD Salinger.” The Independent, 1 Jan. 2019, www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/jd-salinger-life-catcher-in-rye-books-anniversary-franny-zooey-raise-high-roof-beam-john-lennon-a8699026.html.

McGrath, Charles. “J. D. Salinger, Enigmatic Author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ Dies at 91.” Https://Www.Nytimes.Com/#publisher, 5 Feb. 2010, www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/books/29salinger.html.