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Loneliness in The Catcher in The Rye (persuasive essay)

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Research Based Literary Essay: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Loneliness is a feeling in which people experience a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. Someone who is lonely may find it hard to form relationships because they are unable to socialize. In The Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, is surrounded by people who he can form relationships with. However, Holden fails to form relationships, because he chooses to alienate himself from everyone else. He is not willing to become a part of the environment around him, because he thinks he is different. In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger effectively develops the theme of loneliness through the use of suspense by emphasizing three facts; Holden has no place to go after three days of travelling, he has lost his connection to all of his friends, and he has forgotten about morals and being nice. After Holden is expelled from his school, he has to find somewhere to stay for three days, because that is when his parents are expecting him to come home. This creates suspense by letting the reader read the whole novel and think that he will find a proper place to go, such as a friend's house. ...read more.


(Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Literature Resource Center). Once again, this creates suspense, because the reader keeps thinking that Holden will actually call Jane and they will get together. Carl Luce is another one of Holden's old friends. Holden calls Carl to ask him for advice on girls. However, Carl is not the person he used to be. He is more serious about girls, because he actually has a girlfriend at this point. Carl gets angry at Holden for asking him outrageous questions, and tells him that he is immature. Carl tells him, "Listen. Let's get one thing straight. I refuse to answer any typical Caulfield questions tonight. When in the hell are you going to grow up?" (Salinger 189). Holden fails to make a good conversation again, since he has not had one in a long time. He also fails at his attempt on making a friend, and goes back to his lonely self. This event creates suspense, because later on, Carl becomes very angry after Holden's extremely personal questions and almost fights him. Holden is already weak and tired, since he has not had healthy food or sleep in a while, and this makes the reader worried. ...read more.


(Salinger 17). Holden even wrote Mr. Spencer a note, because he thought Mr. Spencer would feel bad about failing him. However, Mr. Spencer was very sarcastic, and he even made of Holden. This event creates lots of suspense, because Holden gets very angry and upset, and thinks of hurting Mr. Spencer. Mr. Spencer is a very old man, and if Holden hurt him, he would not have been able to handle the pain. Holden Caulfield's loneliness is revealed throughout the novel by the use of suspense. Holden is lonely, because he has no place to go, he does not have any ways of connecting to his friends, and he has forgotten about morals. This novel is full of failed attempts to communicate, messages never delivered, incomplete phone calls, overtures not taken up, appeals repulsed. Holden attempts to address serious questions to Mr. Spencer, to Sally Hayes, to Carl Luce, to Mr. Antolini, but no one can really hear him. Suspense is successfully created, because the reader reads every single step that Holden takes in three days. The reader knows more details about the novel than Holden does. Therefore, the reader tries to guess what is going to happen next, but since Holden is unpredictable, it might not always be what they think. ...read more.

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