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What are the major takeaways from Catcher in the Rye?

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The lesson that applies to everyone is that adolescence is lost when transitioning to adulthood.  Innocence and youthfulness are replaced with responsibility, maturity and the burdens of the world.  Adults try to recapture their innocence from a youth because the world seemed to be a better place- who wants to be stressed out and work all day long?  A great website to visit is http://voices.yahoo.com/adolescent-realities-catcher-rye-7157002.html. ;

This is a novel about innocence and adolescence. Focus on the way Holden views adults or those who act more mature than him. He criticizes these people in the timeless manner that has made this story the classic that it is. This is a true "coming of age" story of a boy who does not want to enter adulthood but becomes an adult or guardian figure to his sister and with the most famous quote of the novel:" 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 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 find that a great reading strategy is to read a few chapters, write down character traits, symbols, or quotes that you find significant and then compare your findings to a site like sparknotes to see if you're on the right track. But please be sure to only use websites as helpful guides and not substitutes for the actually readings!