Introduction Debunking The Outsider Myth

‘If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you really want to know the truth.’

Holden Caulfield's sleep-deprived meanderings around 1940s New York provide the narrative for probably the most enduring treatise to adolescent alienation ever written. J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye (1951) is an exploration of the contradictions, shallowness and fakery of adult life – as seen through the eyes of a 16-year-old outsider. According to Caulfield, everyone he ...

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