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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Catcher in the Rye

I finished reading "Catcher in the Rye" by JD Salinger this weekend. It reminded me a bit of "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath, mainly in that both authors depict a person going through serious mental problems. The interesting thing in both is that, the more mentally disturbed the characters are, the more honest and authentic they seem to be. In the beginning of "Catcher," Holden decries the phonies he constantly seems to come into contact with, while at the same time, he constantly lies and deceives those he meets. As the book goes on, as Holden gets more and more desperate, he stops lying and starts reaching for those whose company he cherishes. I think it sometimes takes some desperation to make us realize what is important and who really cares about us. The other thing that I found so interesting is something that I notice often in people, and that I often wonder about myself also. Holden constantly criticizes those around him for being phony, and says this is why he can't maintain his presence at a school. But he lies and is rarely true to himself. I have often seen people blindly pointing fingers at others for those faults that they themselves embrace. I wonder sometimes if I do this same thing, and if so, what faults I criticize that I actually have. As I have often heard said, when you are pointing one finger at others, you have three pointing back at yourself.

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