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Catcher in the Rye - how Salinger brings Holden's character to life

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Introduction

Catcher in the Rye Assignment The Catcher in the Rye is a story set in the 1940s in the USA. The story is mainly based in New York City, Holden's home town, though there are parts of the story that are not set in New York. In this assignment I'm mainly going to discuss three events based in the book and look in detail at the language that the narrator J.D. Salinger has used to make it look like Holden is telling the story to the reader. The author, J.D. Salinger, has also used the first person pronoun "I" throughout the entire story, although Salinger has written the book it feels like Holden has written it, this helps to bring Holden's character alive. He also uses what is known as 'direct address' at the beginning of the story. This is where the narrator uses the pronunciation 'you' this makes the reader feel that they are being "spoken" to personally. I'm also going to look at the way Holden's attitude, thoughts and themes are structured and the style used in doing so. The first event I'm going to discuss is Holden's conversation with Phoebe in her bedroom. This is where Holden creeps into his own house in order to see Phoebe. Holden creeps into her room in the middle of the night when his parents are not there, when Phoebe wakes up she hugs Holden, because she did not expect him to come so early. ...read more.

Middle

Stradlater spends the evening on a date with Jane Gallagher, a girl whom Holden used to date and whom he still admires. During the course of the evening, Holden grows increasingly nervous about Stradlater's taking Jane out, and when Stradlater returns, Holden questions him relentlessly about whether he tried to have sex with her. Stradlater teases Holden, who flies into a rage and attacks Stradlater. Stradlater then knocks Holden down and this is where he bleeds from his nose. Holden decides that he's had enough of Pencey and will go to New York three days early, stay in a hotel, and not tell his parents that he is back. The second factor again, that leads them to the fight was the comment made by Stradlater "professional secret". Holden asks Stradlater if he gave Jane, his childhood sweetheart, "the time" (meaning did she lose her virginity to him), Stradlater shrugs it of by saying "professional secret". Holden is a critic of society; he believes that the major weakness in society is the phoniness. He thinks everyone he knows or meets are phonies with the exception of Jane, Allie and Phoebe. When Holden heard that his phoney roommate, Stradlater was dating Jane, he thought of her all the time. She was one of the few people Holden thought was pure and innocent. Stradlater disliked the work Holden wrote for him about his dead brother, Allie. ...read more.

Conclusion

The author J.D. Salinger also creates the effect of spoken language most of the time than written. This makes the reader feel involved in the story. He uses punctuation to give rhythm to his written speech, like presentation used in drama. In my opinion it was a great book though it was written quite a long time ago. The author J.D Salinger gave a good description of Holden, as an always lonesome and depressed young guy who didn't get over his younger brother's death. Whether the book is relevant or not to the modern reader, it clearly indicates and describes how a 17 year old youth would think and do at least in the 40's and 50's. Looking towards the 21st century I think there are lots of common issues that feature our common lives everyday obviously regarding this problem. The insulting words used in this book are commonly used in our communities both by us and our elders and is nothing of very harmful, but in those days if a youngster said something like that he would certainly be punished for it. From my point of view this book is certainly more relevant to the readers now than before because of the key issues that they now face. It also shows that what the youngsters used to think then even think now but are just more independent, and have there point of view said. ...read more.

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