People Debate Whether Holden Caulfield From Catcher In The Rye Was a Victim

Let’s be honest…it’s probably been a while since you’ve read Catcher in the Rye. If so, no worries; the fine people at Good Reads have summarized the novel in a way that both sparks your memories but doesn’t give too much away. 

«It’s Christmas time, and Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another school. Fleeing the crooks at Pencey Prep, he pinballs around New York City, seeking solace in fleeting encounters—shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels, wandering alone around Central Park, getting beaten up by pimps and cut down by erstwhile girlfriends. The city is beautiful and terrible, in all its neon loneliness and seedy glamour, its mingled sense of possibility and emptiness. Holden passes through it like a ghost, always thinking of his kid sister Phoebe, the only person who really understands him, and his determination to escape the phonies and find a life of true meaning.» 

Holden Caulfield is one of literature’s great unreliable narrators, and not everybody is a fan. While calling Caulfield «whiny» and «annoying» is not a particularly hot take, readers are now resisting those labels, instead calling him a traumatized victim. After YouTuber Sailor J posted a video airing her complaints about the character, many people quickly came to his defense. 

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