Readers’ Blog

Shake the Bells of Youth

Popularity 2Viewed 559 times 2014-5-18 10:48 |System category:Life| school, life

 

When I first read the book the catcher in the rye at junior high school,I regarded Holden,the narrator of the book,as a foul-mouthed misanthrope who couldn't stop getting expelled from every school he attended.He always wore a red hunting hat,one of his most recognizable symbols,sometimes pulling the old peak of his hunting hat around to the front and down over his eyes,sometimes turning the peak around to the back.All of these gave me an impression of a rebarbative boy.But now,with the maturity of my mind,when I open the book again,I see his loneliness, realizing that Holden is a depressed prep school boy with a heart of gold, understanding his desire to shake the bells of his unique youth. 

The Catcher in the Rye is Salinger’s only full-length novel, propelling him onto the national stage.It is a book about a sixteen-year-old boy trying to find a way to be true to himself while growing up in a world full of phonies.

In the book,Holden's story takes place over only three days,from Saturday  to Monday. He flunks out of school, picks up a hooker, borrows money from his kid sister to spend on booze, and ends up in a mental hospital. Although his trip is short,it makes me think a lot.

Holden's life is seemingly so good—his famous school,his rich family,his beautiful girl friend and so on.But all of these are boring,insecure, and, above all, phony. He really wants to flee this kind of life,so he mounts an attack by running away from home and school. When he hangs about all day having nowhere to go, when he cries sadly in the darkness, when he is alone,his youth is just as helpless as ours.

Holden's story reminds me of the post-World War II America.After the World War II,America met his worst nightmare for becoming a country full of pessimism,phoniness as well as vacuity.Lots of teenagers wasted their youth in doubt and fear,drinking excessively,taking drugs and smoking heavily.They were what we called “the Beat Generation”. Just like the Beat Generation,Holden wandered around Manhattan trying to get drunk and lucky,wearing his hunting hat to advertise his uniqueness.But He has a beautiful dream— his fantasy of being “the catcher in the rye”, a person who catches little children as they are about to fall off of a cliff. The rye is not only a field full of children romping and playing,it is also a bell in his youth and an innocent and pure land in his heart.

All of us may have a crazy youth.My adolescence feels like a perfect night crowded with many cool kids.We describe the beautiful blueprint and end up dreaming instead of sleeping,forgetting all heartbreaks and deadlines.Adolescence is miserable but magical.Like Holden,after his temporary confusion, he is finally cautiously optimistic about his future.All of us can shake the bells of our youth if we always hold a heart of gold and keep dancing as if we're 18.

 

 

 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (4 comments)

Reply Report 财神 2014-5-18 16:33
Let's Shake the bells so that youth will wake up.
Reply Report 奔跑的卤蛋 2014-5-18 22:59
财神: Let's Shake the bells so that youth will wake up.
haha,do u have any good idea about how to shake??
Reply Report 财神 2014-5-19 08:33
All youth know but only we are lazy to shake.

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