Hello, this is one of my supplements for UVA. The prompt is:
What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
Please let me know what else I can add or take out. Also, if anyone could assist me in bringing the essay back to myself, I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much in advance!
What is the point of this novel? Frustrated and slightly embittered, J.D. Salinger's novel, The Catcher in the Rye is one that has left an ineradicable mark on me. As a sophomore in high school at the time, the novel initially seemed incredibly pointless and exceedingly depressing. The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, struggles to find his way into adulthood surrounded by people who he references as "phonies." Like all the books I have read before, I expected this novel to have a basic plot line; however, I could not seem to find it. Determined to understand why this novel has become such a classic, I was tenacious to find the underlying message. This novel unknowingly had tested and challenged me to pay attention and read in between the lines. Just like Holden struggled to transition into adulthood, this novel helped me to transition into a stronger reader. No longer could I take literature with a literal meaning. After re-reading the lines that once made no sense to me, I finally began to understand the bigger picture.
The novel encompasses the ideas of a covetous and tainted society crowded with people driven to live by the status quo. Holden, at first, may seem like an uneducated and unhappy character, but he is actually incredibly observant and perceptive. He realizes the fleeting nature of innocence and strives to preserve it in the one person he still holds dear to his heart, his sister Phoebe. However, through his journey and own experiences, he realizes that saving children from falling off the cliff of innocence, is something unattainable.
I think your basic thought process here is great. However, I think you should approach this topic from a point strength and not weakness. "This novel unknowingly had tested and challenged me to pay attention and read in between the lines," just bothers me and I keep thinking that by sophomore year in High School, this person should have already been a "strong reader." You do not want anyone on the adcom to even think a thought like that so maybe switch that to something like "it forced me to be a more imaginative reader by fully immersing myself into each and every character....." This probably a better approach. Hope this helps. - selectiveadmissions