I wrote a blog post similar to this last year. I guess time didn’t really change anything.
The white screen, the flashing bar, the total emptiness in my brain. What do I write
about? What should I say? There are simultaneously so many and so few things to talk
about. I read plenty of writing, blog posts, poetry, works of fiction. How do all these
people come up with such deep thoughts? What is it that their brains possess that mine
lacks? I sometimes struggle to put together sentences, while from their pens flow an
endless stream of knowledge and wisdom, commentary about social issues and
discourses on philosophies. And from a few supremely gifted ones, even comedy and
wit spring forth. I have none of that. Half the time, I can’t even put words on a page,
much less wax eloquent. But maybe there’s still hope. I once read that a fiction author
only peaks sometime in their early 50’s. I’m only 19, I guess I can only go up from
here… right? Who knows? Maybe this self-reflective blog post is my peak. Only time
will tell. Check back in next year to see how 20-year-old me is faring. Maybe by then I’ll
have a three-paragraph blogpost chock full of wisdom for you to enjoy. But until then,
this is all you get, just be thankful that’s it’s not a list of quotes about fall.
Written by Josh A.
The Catcher in the Rye is a wonderful coming of age story about a young boy named Holden
Caulfield. This brilliant work of art can be classed as the Pride and Prejudice of the 50’s. In it,
young Holden overcomes the egregious problems facing rich white males in the United States.
For example, Holden has been raised in such a dissolute environment that he feels a strong desire
to hire a prostitute. Clearly, not all of us have had to face such a difficult challenge. However,
Caulfield’s innate moral compass leads him to refrain from sexual encounters; instead, he
chooses to spend his time philosophizing and critiquing others who engage in less honorable
practices. Caulfield deals with the ramifications of living in a boarding school; it’s quite
comparable to similar epochal works such as Gossip Girl which also deal with the cultural
difficulties wealthy socialites face. For me, the beauty of The Catcher in the Rye is this: Holden
Caulfield physically and verbally fights others, which mirrors the metaphorical battle he
undergoes to free himself from the chains of white privilege. However, The Catcher in the Rye is
not perfect. It struggles to adequately deal with family life; Caulfield’s few family interactions
are primarily with his sister. These limited insights fail to provide a full insight into the classic
American family, which is what I was led to expect when I picked up the book. Naturally,
because it was not what I expected based off of the cover, I must penalize it slightly.
Furthermore, Phoebe suffers as a character because she comes off as overbearing; also, no
younger sister would have the temerity to chastise her older sibling. Thus, the nuclear family
presented by Salinger does not accurately reflect the accepted family structure in the United
States. However, The Catcher in the Rye generally matched exactly what I think life is like, all
while speaking to me on a deeply personal level.
Final Rating: 4 ½ ★
A satire written by Ryan C.
April is the cruelest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain.
-T. S. Eliot
R2: The Rice Review
Rice University's undergraduate literary magazine. Here you can find event updates, monthly writing contest winners, and opinions by the R2 staff on what's new, interesting, or subject to discussion in the literary and arts world.