I re-read The Catcher In The Rye recently. The last time I read it was years back - maybe when I was 13. And I was struck by how my perspective and opinion on the book has changed since then. When I read it then, Holden Caulfield was me - so what if he was an 18-year old fictional American character, and I was a 13-year old real Indian girl? His angst was my angst, his dilemmas were my dilemmas, and his adolescent turmoil was exactly what I identified with.
But when I read it now, I have trouble identifying with Holden. I guess I've changed - yes, we all do, and our outlooks alter over time, with experience and the gradual loss of adolescent anger.
Don't get me wrong, J D Salinger's book is still a great one, the writing is brilliant - and it captures teenage angst and depression extremely well, but it's just that I feel differently about it now. (Shreya's going to kill me for this.)
I've grown up, apparently. Yes, I'm sure in some ways I still identify with Holden's character, but on the whole, I was actually left thinking, "What a wimp, he needs some maturity." But perhaps that's just my maturity speaking, at the risk of sounding presumptous. I suppose it happens to all of us - maybe this is a defining moment for me. I've realised I'm certainly past the "Holden Caulfield Point", and while a little part of me is slightly disconcerted to realise I don't identify with Holden anymore, on the whole- I feel glad that I've grown up. My perspectives may have changed, but I feel I'm more at ease with my adult self.
In a way, I'm glad I re-read the book. It's made me come to terms with the fact that I've moved on. And that my life, too, has moved on.