GCSE: J.D. Salinger
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That killed me. Shaking hands is just about the most phony thing a person can do. But I shook it anyway, just to be polite and all. "Selma Thurman, right?" "Yeah, that's right," she said with another shy smile. In a funny way, she kind of reminded me of Jane. She had that same distinctive smile that would light up any room, a genuine smile. Not one of those phony ones. You can always tell when someone is genuine. "You go to Pencey right?" she asked "That's right," "Then you know my father." Boy! did I know her father.
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His father became wealthy importing cheese and meat. He had his own troubled history in various schools until he was dispatched at 15 to Valley Forge military academy. Then at night using a torch under his bed covers he began writing. There he began writing at night using a torch under his bed covers and published his first story in a fiction magazine in 1940.
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The novel is called The Catcher in the Rye because Holden hears in chapter 16, a poem written by Robert Burns called Comin through the Rye and he dreams of being a sort of guardian of the children who play in a rye field, and stop them when
The significance of Holden's red hunting hat refers to what he wanted to show to people. With this hat, he felt like unique, better than the others surrounding him. During the novel, he is always mentioning the hat when he is wearing it, and if he hanged out with people he know, he wouldn't wear it, because that people knew who he really was. The red hat also refers to Holden's problem with isolation and with the companion he sometimes needed.
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Moreover, another setting which signifies importance is Mr Antolini's abode, where Holden goes to seek shelter and advice towards the end of the novel in chapter 24. In chapter 22, on being asked by Phoebe on what he wishes to do in the future, Holden informs her that he wishes to be the 'catcher in the rye'. He tells her of the poem 'if a body catch a body comin' through the rye'. Phoebe corrects him instantly that the word was not 'catch' but 'meet' in the poem.
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Write about Holdens relationships with females in The Catcher in the Rye and how Salinger presents these relationships
As Holden explains that adults are inevitably phonies, and, what's worse, they can't see their own phoniness. Phoniness, for Holden, stands as an emblem of everything that's wrong in the world around him and provides an excuse for him to withdraw into his cynical loneliness. In addition Holden's encounter with Sunny, when it becomes clear that he is unable to handle a sexual encounter; the end of his date with Sally, when he tries to get her to run away with him; and his departure from Mr.
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How does J.D Salinger present the problems of teenagers in the first chapters of Catcher in the Rye?
Holden tells the reader that he has 'just quit [school], sort of'. This one quote gives us a clear insight, early in the book, into Holden's perspective in life. It also shows us that Holden doesn't really care about leaving school, as he tells us later in the chapter, Pencey is his fourth school.
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Throughout his childhood, it is obvious that Holden has idolized his older brother. Now that D.B. is a writer for Hollywood, Holden considers him a phony, and accuses him of prostituting himself by agreeing to work for the film industry. The language Salinger uses to portray D.B. is a "prostitute", meaning a woman who is no longer innocent and experiences the misdeeds of the outer world rather than being preserved in a soundproof bubble. This is what Holden thinks of D.B. and Salinger presents their relationship as being insecure and far apart. Throughout the story, Holden mentions Allie and his admirable personality.
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This shows Holden admitting that he is excluded and victimised by the world around him. The second is a possible reason why he may be considered a 'loser' in Pencey. He has gone to talk to his History teacher out of choice as a social thing rather than anything to do with his studies. The conversation does turn to Holden's recent History test and reveals that Holden is lazy and an extreme under-achiever. This inability to achieve could be yet another reason why he is an individual (negative). He can not joke with his peers about his poor grades and this lack of conversation does not help his feeling of being 'trapped on the other side'.
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Although Holden is friendly with many people at school and has several friends in New York, he is constantly lonely and needs someone who will sympathize with his feelings of alienation. The person Holden feels closest to is his ten year old sister Phoebe. He never connects or has a good relationship with anyone at Pencey. "It was one of the worst schools I ever went to. It was full of phonies. You never saw so many mean guys in your life."
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Salinger also used language like 'witty bastard'. To present Holden as being rude, because not a lot of people his age would have spoke like that, also it shows that Holden is naive because he doesn't realise that he shouldn't speak in that way. Also it shows he has a limited vocabulary because he swears constantly throughout the novel. These phrases would have surprised the audience, because when the novel was written people found swearing a lot ruder than nowadays especially teenagers swearing.
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An important characteristic to notice is the color of the hat, which is red. Holden's deceased brother Allie had red hair, and Allie was viewed by Holden to be the model of innocence. "People with red hair are supposed to get mad very easily, but Allie never did, and he had very red hair" (38). In addition, Holden makes it known that he has gray in his hair. "And I have quite a bit of gray hair" (57). Gray hair is usually a symbol of growing up and getting older.
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Stradlater was one of the people which he didn't like. He described him as a bastard many times. One of them was, '...stupid bastard like Stradlater.' 'Why am I here'? You can almost hear him thinking it! He is looking for love, and affection. The only few times you see him more cheerful in this book are when he is with the few people who love and care about him especially Phoebe, his sister. Holden and Phoebe get along quite well.
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Holden uses the broad term "phoniness" to describe the superficiality, hypocrisy, pretension, and shallowness that he encounters. He feels this way because of the adult tendency to adopt these qualities in social situations, and because he fears the idea of adulthood. He believes that he must protect the children who are growing up from adopting these qualities, and that he must keep them pure. Lennon was an outspoken purveyor of peace and was one of the largest political activists at the time. Imagine, his single, besides being an anthem for anti-war protests, powerfully spoke against aspects of life such as greed and the concept of possessions.
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- He keeps saying this, but he never actually does, it seems he is too shy to go and see her. We can begin to see here that Holden does get very emotionally attached to women, although he can be very shy around them. We can tell that Holden has suppressed rage within him, as when Stradlater gets back from his date with Jane, Holden finds out that Stradlater and Jane may have had sex. Holden provokes Stradlater to attack him, knowing that he is no match for him.
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Another trait visible from Holden's narration is the immaturity in understanding change, which is obvious from the way his thoughts are constantly revolving around preservation such as his school essay about Egyptian mummies. Over the course of his odyssey, Holden becomes enlightened to the idea that there may indeed be a problem with his emotional health and at the end of the novel, pursues counseling to help him deal with his troubles. Holden hints that the source of his mental trauma is related to his inability to cope with the death of his only brother, Allie.
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This could be because if he was to see Jane than he may be let down with his original notions of both of their innocence that he witnessed during their childhood. His reluctance to speak to Jane is also present in another part of the book where he says 'I gave old Jane a buzz again but her phone didn't answer'. This could be taken as the truth however throughout the book the character of Holden is often made to seem as a compulsive exaggerator therefore it is possible that he did not let the phone ring for a sufficient amount of time, this would mean that he was once again unable to bring himself to talk to Jane.
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How does Slinger present Holden as being both a strong and a weak character in 'The Catcher in the Rye'?
Further on in the book Holden becomes alone and it seems that he either mentions others from his past so that he may judge them - 'something happened once ... I roomed with this boy, Dick Slagle, that had these very inexpensive suitcases' - or begins to judge himself - 'but I'm crazy. I swear to God I am'. These examples highlight this fault even more whilst also forming a new one in the shape of low self-esteem. Holden is shown to categorise those he comes into contact with by how much money they have.
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This shows that Priestley could be using Inspector Goole as a puppet because he has strong socialist beliefs. The Inspector keeps repeating the word "we". He wants to include everyone and not leave anyone out. This is an ethos of socialism. Priestley is trying to convert the audience. The Inspector is also commanding, he says "I tell you". He uses his authority when he wants and how he wants. This makes Sheila, Gerald, Eric, Mr and Mrs Birling and Edna believe he is an Inspector.
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"Treat the Catcher in the Rye as a letter from Holden to you, imagine you are one of the characters in the novel (Jane, Allie, D.B, Psychoanalyst, Phoebe, Holden's Mum or Dad) and write the reply.
I remember you told me about that guy, Stradlater, and he was going on a date with Jane. He asked you to do an essay for him. I wouldn't have done it for him; you have got your own life, try living it brother. Why didn't you tell him you didn't want to do it for him? If he was an alright guy he would have stayed at the school and written it himself. He was walking all over you and he only did it because you did not have anything better to do, because you were getting kicked out of Pencey in a few days.
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Holden refers to Stradlater as a secret slob. He describes how Stradlater always tries to be neat and tidy on the outside to impress others but how he is not when you get to know him. In the scene where Holden and Stradlater are in the can and Stradlater is getting ready for a date, Holden describes Stradlater's razor is rusty and full with hair and lather. Furthermore you can see that how Holden doesn't want to react to corrupt and evil society when he tells about his future to Sally. He tells that he will never come back home.
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He instead immediately assumes that everyone is biased against him instead of maturely just accepting that you have to follow the rules and you can't just create your own. Holden is disillusioned and sees everyone as being cynical and believes that everything is either black or white; Holden Caulfield sees childhood as being ideal and he thinks adulthood is filled with corrupt people. Another immature thing Holden does is he can never seem to stand up for himself or tell someone directly what he was thinking or what he wanted them to do, "I dropped about a thousand hints, but
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Sex was something that fascinated him but also repelled him at the same time. He wished to experience what it was all about. However he had established that passion was not dedicated to him, even though he enjoyed women's company and yearned for a sexual life. Holden was not appealed by the physical reality. Holden's confusion was clearly shown in chapter thirteen, in relation to the prostitute. This chapter demonstrated Holden's child-like behavior and his inability to fulfil his sexual desires. He was confused about his virginity and could not foresee how he would react in front of the prostitute.
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Though his innocence regarding issues of school, money, and sexuality has already been lost, he still hopes to protect others from knowing about these adult subjects. Holden, unlike the usual fictional teenager, doesn't express normal rebellion. He distrusts his teachers and parents not because he wants to separate himself from them, but because he can't understand them. In fact there is little in the world that he does understand. The only people he trusts and respects are Allie, his deceased brother, and Phoebe, his younger sister.
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This makes him likeable because it adds realism to his character as he does not totally disclose his feelings, making us, the reader feel as if we have to earn his trust as the book furthers. We can see this if we contrast an extract from the beginning of the book, 'If you really want to hear about it... and one further on in the book, for example when he is in Ernie's and he goes off on a tangent about people clapping, 'People always clap for the wrong things...'
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But when later on that evening when Maurice and Sunny (the girl) came back wanting 5 more dollars Holden then got in a fight with Maurice, "Leave me alone. If you'd said 10, it'd be different. But you distinctly-" I think that the contradictions in his behaviour and attitudes are the signs of him making a genuine struggle to make sense of his world and to sort out what's worthwhile in life. An example of this happening is when he meets up with Sally and she suggests "Let's go ice-skating at Radio City" and he couldn't think why she came up with lots of diverse ideas "that's the kind of ideas she always had."
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