The Catcher in the Rye Book Report – The Harvard Lampoon

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| Issue Editor: ERB '14 | Art Editor: SHR '15

The Catcher in the Rye Book Report

  ERB '14

The Catcher in the Rye is a book about New York. The work was written by J.D. Salinger, full name unknown. It was published in 1951 by Little, Brown and Company, in a decade identical to the one in which The Old Man and The Sea was released. Little, Brown and Company did not print The Old Man and the Sea. Furthermore, Ernest Hemingway wrote it. J.D. Salinger is not the stage name for Ernest Hemingway.


The Catcher begins at the start. The protagonist, a person, embarks. So does Santiago, the old man, go fishing in his skiff after 84 days without a catch. The Catcher’s narrative has notable structure, told from a point of view. The Old Man is delivered in 3rd person omniscient with undertones of sobriety.


The Catcher’s action quickly builds. Simultaneously, Santiago hooks a marlin, which is different from but similar to a lethal shark. This marlin does not go down easy. Neither does The Catcher.


After some chapters have happened, The Catcher has a pivotal chapter. The Old Man does not have chapters, but rather one novella. The Old Man is very provocative and much shorter.


Soon after, The Catcher has a scene that explains the title. The Old Man and The Sea is relevantly about an old man and the sea. The consequences are numerous, and Santiago’s battle with the giant marlin becomes a fight to the death between heroism and a symbolic fish. Furthermore, there is voluminous crucifixion imagery.


Finally, the climax occurs, and The Catcher captures a generation. Meanwhile, Santiago defeats the marlin and hauls it back to shore, where it has devolved into a swarm of lethal sharks.  As Hemingway once said, “The sun also rises.” The Catcher, a page turner, reaches page 214 and ends.
In conclusion, The Old Man and The Sea is a timeless literary work that embodies the tragedy and triumph that defines humanity. Similarly, The Catcher in the Rye costs $9.95 in paperback and has an ISBN number of 0-316-76953-3.