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AS and A Level: J.D. Salinger

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 3
  • Peer Reviewed essays 3
  1. 1
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  3. 3
  1. Marked by a teacher

    Why is symbolism in the Catcher in the Rye so important?

    4 star(s)

    patently obvious to the reader that this violent reaction was due to anger and pain caused by the death of his brother Allie. Salinger uses the symbol of Holden's hand that 'still hurts me once in a while' (39) to show us that the death of Allie still causes Holden great emotional pain. He also uses the hand to show that The death of Allie has weakened Holden 'I can't make a real fist anymore - not a tight one' and led him to mentally 'come undone'.

    • Word count: 1095
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the view that in "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" and "Catcher in the Rye" Holden and Ruby can be regarded as unreliable narrators

    4 star(s)

    This technique draws the reader's attention to the artificiality of this fictional work. This is unlike "Catcher in the Rye" that in some ways could be regarded as non-fictional, as Salinger does not emphasize the fact that it is fiction. However, it could be argued that the style of "Catcher in the Rye" and the context make it obviously fiction, for example, the detailed regurgitated conversations which would be not a characteristic of non-fictional work. However, considering Holden's situation and the circumstances it is possible to see him as an unreliable narrator.

    • Word count: 2537
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Critical Essay: 'The Catcher In the Rye' "Choose a novel which deals with the theme of isolation. By referring to the novel closely, examine the techniques the writer uses to portray this theme."

    3 star(s)

    An example of this is shown after his fight with Stradlater when he admits to himself that he was "feeling so lonesome and rotten, I even felt like waking Ackley up". This quotation clearly illustrates the extent of Holden's loneliness at Pencey and is a strong indication of how he is an outsider. This is because, through Holden's narration, the reader has learnt that Ackley is one of Pencey's social rejects and is someone who people rarely talk to, let alone confide in.

    • Word count: 1249
  4. Peer reviewed

    'Holden's quest is an impossible one; it is a quest for the preservation of innocence in a world of phoniness and cruelty'. By close examination of appropriate episodes in the novel, discuss how far you would agree with this statement.

    4 star(s)

    From Holden's point of view, this materialistic society is closely related to the corrupt, superficial world of adulthood. His scorn for it is particularly evident in a conversation he has with Sally Hayes. He remarks that most people are "crazy about cars" and want a newer one almost as soon as the latest model has been bought. He seems convinced that once adulthood is attained with all its rituals and responsibilities such as "working in some office, making a lot of dough" any escape from this shallow society will be impossible.

    • Word count: 4307
  5. Peer reviewed

    The protagonist Holden Caulfield shows a lot of bravery during the course of the novel. I disagree with the quote, but I do agree that there are many references that are similar between J.F. Clarke's quote and J. D. Salinger's novel.

    3 star(s)

    In the novel Catcher in the Rye, Holden is very brave by leaving his school and spending time by himself in one of the busiest cities in the world in New York City. I have mix feelings about whether or not Holden obeys his conscience. He is a typical bad boy, he smokes, tries to buy a hooker in his hotel room that he was staying at alone, and is put into a psychiatric hospital. I feel that somebody who obeys their conscience would not be this type of a kid who is basically known as a rebel.

    • Word count: 582
  6. Free essay

    The author of Catcher on the Rye, JD Salinger, has created a precisely realistic novel on the immense stress level and complexity of teenage relationships, problems, and confusion.

    still comes to see his family at least once a week, despite his restrained and hectic schedule. Allie, Holden's younger brother, on the other hand, became Holden's best friend after his death, as demonstrated by Holden's breakdown while in N.Y., when he was "communicating" with Allie's spirit. Holden, afraid that he would just simply disappear, was saying "Allie, don't let me disappear. Allie, don't let me disappear. Allie, don't let me disappear. Please, Allie" (Salinger, 198) and would then constantly thank him for helping him safely make it across the "street of abyss". While, on the contrary, before his death Holden would not have anything to do with him.

    • Word count: 1400
  7. An Analysis on the Relevance of J.D. Salingers The Catcher in the Rye in Modern Times

    To begin, Holden has primarily maintained relevance in the modern age because he continues to give a voice to the youth of our society. Taking a tone of rebellion, Holden separates himself from the society that is so illegitimate in his eyes, and seems to form a realm of his own within his mind. This primarily entails his disrespect for most adults and the rules they make for everyone. You can see Holden's disdain for adults during his conversation with Mr.

    • Word count: 909
  8. "The Catcher In The Rye" is a novel that has always attracted controversy.

    It is still a controversial novel containing issues and language that still offend. The language Salinger uses in the novel is immediately recognised as controversial, even in today's society where "serious literature" has been given almost sixty years to develop. Some critics argue that the profanities and casual language are only there to shock the reader whereas others state that they serve to make the teenage character of Holden Caulfield appear more realistic. Literature critic, Michael Cooper claims that "J.

    • Word count: 2152
  9. Holden's Dislike of Phoniness

    His views are evident when he recounts his experience at the private schools he attended, revealing his hatred toward the phoniness in them. When Holden thinks of Elkton Hills, a school he used to attend, he is reminded of its phony headmaster, Mr. Haas. According to Holden, when Mr. Haas greets parents, he "[shakes] hands with them and [gives] them a phony smile." (14) The lack of sincerity in Mr. Haas' actions angers Holden and is one reason Holden leaves the school.

    • Word count: 998
  10. Normalcy in The Catcher in the Rye

    I mean after you go to college and all, and if we should get married and all.

    • Word count: 1023
  11. The Catcher In The Rye

    This "immunity" ultimately led Holden to turn to Allie for unbiased guidance, and a source to sort out his problems. In addition, Holden had been only thirteen when Allie died; He had not fully matured to face such a tragic situation. Years later at one of Holden's previous schools, Elkton Hills, a fellow student named James Castle committed suicide as a response to the ridicule he received from the other boys. This incident also heavily affected Holden's personality, and he often considered committing suicide to break away from the real world he loathed.

    • Word count: 1982
  12. Catcher in the Rye: Close Reading

    During this time Holden is nervous and anxious of his soon encounter with a prostitute. Soon the prostitute arrives, and Holden shows his true side of a typical teenage boy. Holden, still a virgin, is extremely uncomfortable with the prostitute. Holden feels uneasy about the situation he gets himself into because of the prostitute's nonverbal communication and appearance. Late in the scene, Holden decides he does not want to have sex with the prostitute and looks for reasons to convince the prostitute not to have sex with him. After the prostitute leaves his room, Holden fights with Maurice, because he refuses to pay the prostitute more money.

    • Word count: 1800
  13. How Past Events Affect Holden Caulfield's Life

    This lapse in mental stability implies that Holden does not feel that he has a connection amongst his environment. Instead, he imagines that he is a fleeting presence that will instantaneously vanish at any given moment. In addition, this traumatic experience prompts the cynicism Holden expresses towards the world and he uses it to prevent him from expressing his feelings. His idealized view of Allie as being "the smartest and most intellectual of the family" causes him to remain bitter over his death. Thus, he retreats from those who he feels are not genuine and intellectual as his deceased brother.

    • Word count: 958
  14. a letter to holden caulfield

    By the way, let me introduce myself, I'm just another high school "phony", as you may find me. I too have a little sister, whom I share my problems with. Speaking of problems, I think we share some common ones like dropping out of school, only once in my case though, and issues with parents, but for different reasons. A notable difference though is that I am much better than you at academics, especially math. I too indulge in smoking and drinking which I believe aren't habits that should be indulged in only after I mature into an adult, like many perceive them to be, instead I believe, I treat myself to a cigarette only because it makes me feel good and age is not a criteria for that.

    • Word count: 2253
  15. Catcher in the Rye

    This fact allows the reader to get the impression that Holden has a miserable life and does not want to live any more. The second example of Holden's isolation and a proof that he is a strange character is when he is in a taxi and tries to struck up a conversation with the driver by asking him, " Where do ducks go?". This makes him look weird and lonely and it proves that he does not have any one to talk to.

    • Word count: 1258
  16. Consider how the writer presents the narrator in the opening chapters of the novel The Catcher in the Rye was first published in 1951

    The Catcher in the Rye was frequently read as a tale of an individual's alienation within a "phony" world. Many regarded the novel as a "bildungsroman" (coming of age novel), the main character Holden seemed to stand for teenagers at present day who find themselves surrounded by the pressures of growing up, following the rules and expectations of society, and often had to restrict their own personalities in order to blend into a cultural norm. Many regarded Holden Caulfield as a symbol of individuality in the face of cultural oppression. Unlike conventional novels, where the hero is often portrayed as good, courageous and kind, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye appears to be troubled, erratic and unreliable.

    • Word count: 627
  17. J.D Salinger, the author of 'The catcher in the Rye', this novel is about a boy named Holden Caulfield who wants to save the children in the field from falling off the cliff into adulthood. I

    Holden went to his history teacher who began lecturing Holden on his lousy term paper. Holden, however, saw only the comical part, "he was holding my paper like it was a turd or something," Holden believes that everyone and everything is 'fake and phony'. In one of the chapters Holden took train ride to New York, Holden meets one of his classmate's mothers. He began to talk to the mother and started to lie to her and says how nice her son is in school. "That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a god dam toilet seat," Holden thinks that it is ridiculous that parents don't pay enough attention to their kid's personality to know when someone is lying about their kid.

    • Word count: 765
  18. How Does J.D. Salinger present Holden's ''separateness'' from other people in 'Catcher In The Rye'? In 'The Catcher In The Rye' Salinger sets about making Holden appear separate from everyone else

    The death of Allie has become like an awakening to Holden, and has alerted him how precious childhood innocence is, when Holden comes to this realisation he convinces himself to do everything within his power to protect the innocence of himself and those around him, to protect them from what he sees as a false adult world. Although Holden clearly fails to protect himself, as he falls into all sorts of situations which hardly boasts of innocence and virtue, such as his encounter with the prostitute, his frequent usage of profanity and the fact that he smokes and drinks rather heavily at times 'I was getting drunk as hell'.

    • Word count: 1259
  19. The Catcher in the Rye Essay

    Holden is very resistant to these changes, which is similar to many adolescents of today. He does not understand the adult world and is not ready for the transition. He shows that he is not ready for this by criticizing adults and their "phoniness." Furthermore, he shows that he is not ready to face the adult world when he decides to stay in a hotel alone for a few days after being expelled from his school. He does not want to "face the music" right away and would rather ignore it.

    • Word count: 1655
  20. Relationships with Holden in "The Catcher in the Rye"

    When Holden visits him he talks about how Mr Spencer is wrapped up in a blanket and that there is "pills and medicine all over the place and everything smelt like Vicks Nose Drops". He is quite bothered about the fact that he is in an atmosphere he considers as unpleasant and describes it as being "depressing". When Mr Spencer begins to talk to Holden about why he is leaving Pencey Prep School he tells him that "Life is a game, boy.

    • Word count: 1997
  21. How does JD Salinger use the character of Holden Caulfield to explore the issues related to 'growing up'?

    If there's another war, I'm going to sit right the hell on top of it". Due to the contextual time of post WW2 this was deeply shocking and disturbed many people, the atomic bomb had killed millions of innocent people and thousands had relatives lost in the war. At this time America was very anti-communism but Holden hints anti-capitalist views, "Goddamn money. It always ends up making you feel blue as hell", and he often wears a "red hunting hat" which could have easily symbolized a communist. This was also a contributing factor to the shock this gave American society.

    • Word count: 2556
  22. A Rebel on His Way to Adulthood : 'Me, myself and I' vs 'The Catcher in the Rye '

    The symptom is that we change but not only physically. Our points of view, ideals and beliefs also change. That is why I was so anxious about reading the book again but at the same time I was curious to find out how much I have changed. Actually, I didn't remember most of it. I could recall only my feelings. And that is not a recommended approach towards a book. But I don't consider myself much of a critic but an observer and an interpreter.

    • Word count: 2362
  23. "The story it tells is episodic, inconclusive and largely made up of trivial events. The language used is, by normal literary standards, very impoverished" (5) How far do you agree with this statement?

    So the novel becomes a lot easier to follow and relate to. "First person narrative that centres around a single individual whose loosely strung escapades are connected by the fact that they are events in the life of the protagonist and develops the same theme of loneliness and isolation."(1) The people that Holden meets try to help him overcome these feeling but he always rejects their help leading to his breakdown. Hence, the meaning is that Holden could prevent his breakdown but decides to be alone most of the time, rejecting help from others.

    • Word count: 2766
  24. Why does Holden fear adulthood?

    We can take Ossenburger as an example, he represents everything Holden hates, wealthy famous character who for Holden only gives phony speeches on how to live life. "He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me, I can just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs" (Pg 17). This is just one of many examples Holden sees as fake.

    • Word count: 1429
  25. Essay on First Person Narrative - Christopher and Holden

    Christopher's descriptions are mainly about details that a normal person would not care about, such as the shape of the room he is in, and how many litres of air there is in it or how many holes there are in a shoe. Holden's descriptions are more on his surroundings and the atmosphere. Christopher's sentence structure includes short and choppy sentences, rarely using comas when he is not talking about facts. He uses only "and", "but" and "because" as conjunctions in his writing, this makes his style unvaried and tends to be monotonous.

    • Word count: 1421

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • "it is immoral and cannot be taught in our schools" - Discuss

    "The virtuousness, morality, or principles are as apparent as the depravities throughout the novel of The Catcher In The Rye. Although when you actually read and examine the book you realize that there are no immoralities. The only way you can come to that conclusion, is with ignorance and a lack of knowledge. To fully recognize and understand the hidden ideas or picture the author is trying to portray in the readers' minds you need knowledge and insight."

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