The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Catcher in the Rye is not Overrated

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2018 Category: Arts
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 931 times Debate No: 115764
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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Round 1 for acceptance.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I must welcome my opponent to, THE Premiere Online Debating Website!

My case will rely on three arguments:

1. That "The Catcher in the Rye" is stylistically brilliant;
2. That "The Catcher in the Rye is thematically superb;
3. That "The Catcher in the Rye" is historically groundbreaking.

1. The Style of Salinger

J. D. Salinger, the widely celebrated author, is remembered mostly for "The Catcher in the Rye", which followed the young Holden Caulfield. While he also wrote short stories in "mature", postmodern, complex prose, "Catcher" was written in first-person. The narraration - more skillfully than many other books - captured the inner world of the Teenage Male.

Much of the book's criticism comes from the readers despising Holden too much to like the book in itself. This is proof of how greatly Salinger succeeded: "Catcher" is Holden's book, Holden's mind. There is no barrier between protagonist and words, a terribly difficult effect to acheive (if my opponent doubts this difficulty, I ask him to try for himself, or even to offer examples of "mediocre" authors reaching the same heights).

2. Slipping Out of Adolescence

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."

Holden is not "whiny". Holden is not "pretentious". Holden is not "antipretentious". Holden is - as all great protagonists are - someone with values that show the prime values of the author and reflect our own minds, before the piling-on of years of compromises and soot. Holden has an honest mind, no matter how many times he lies to himself and others, and "Catcher" is an honest book. One is not possible without the other.

A book, to be worthwhile, should help make the reader worthwhile. It should help us figure out exactly what ought to be important to us. This is the fundamental task Holden is faced with: how to reconcile the world's sludge with how it is in his visions. Maturation is nothing but finding peace in the face of this great task; Holden must do it, Phoebe must do it, and all must do it.

3. Time and Place

"Catcher" portrays universal struggles, but its concerns are particularly of our age. Never has it been more likely for a person to find a relationship in the book than now, and hardly ever does a book so clearly address the problems of its society. And not to speak of the narrative innovations! The subjective narrarator, taking us through his New York, his aetherial meditations, his burning cigarette till its end - the days of Holden are given to us as he was given them. In the history of literature, Salinger published a bold statement of intent that became the manifesto of a revolution.

With all this, "Catcher" must be regarded as a masterpiece of American literature and of art as a whole.

"These intellectual guys don't like to have an intellectual conversation with you unless they're running the whole thing. They always want you to shut up when they shut up, and go back to your room when they go back to their room."
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Debating_Horse 3 years ago
Please be considerate and remember to finish up your argument for mine! Thank you!
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
My vote is already cast for the burrito
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
I don't know how to spell narration
Posted by missbailey8 3 years ago
Marry me now.
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