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How important are settings in The Catcher in the Rye?

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Introduction

Question: May 2006 How important are settings in The Catcher in the Rye? -Choose two settings. -write about: -how the settings are presented. -why they are important. The bildungsroman, The Catcher in the Rye could be considered as one of J.D Salinger's most famous novel of all time. The novel was highly controversial when first published. In fact, it was actually censored in numerous American high schools, to such an extent that some professors lost their jobs because of teaching it. The protagonist in the novel, Holden Caulfield could be considered as an epitome of teenagers. The settings used in the novel by Salinger are highly important in depicting the behaviour of Holden towards others, but most importantly showing his level of mental state. Two settings which are particularly significant in the novel include Holden's encounter with Phoebe in chapter 22 (where he informs her of his ambition to be the 'catcher in the rye). ...read more.

Middle

from falling of a 'crazy cliff'. So, by not allowing children to 'fall' into the adult world of cynicism, hypocrisy and most importantly 'phoniness', he is protecting their innocence. Furthermore, Phoebe dismisses Holden's romanticised ambition, and that is why this setting is significant as it is the first time that Holden has described his ambition to anyone. This setting also presents the importance of his relationship with his sister. Moreover, it also shows the deep connection that he has with his young sister. This is explained by the fact that Phoebe does not actually fit in with Holden's romanticised dream, as she is anything but innocent and na�ve, displaying at times, maturity far beyond her age of ten. Another setting considered of importance in the novel is Mr and Mrs Antolini's 'swanky' apartment. In this setting Holden's relationship is revealed with his former teacher Mr Antolini. ...read more.

Conclusion

After this incident, Holden leaves immediately and mentions that acts such as this 'perverty stuff' happened to him about 'twenty times' since he was a child. This statement and encounter with Mr Antolini is rather ambiguous, however what is very interesting is that after leaving, Holden evaluates his judgement regarding Mr Antolini. This is very unusual for Holden to do, as this is the first time that Holden evaluates his judgement and in fact in chapter twenty five, Holden wonders that maybe Mr Antolini was not making a 'flitty pass' at him. He also thinks about how kind it was of Mr Antolini to allow him to come to his apartment at such a late time. To conclude, Salinger uses settings with intelligent thought, Mr Antolini's apartment and at Holden's home to display Holden's relationships with other young people and adults. Both settings provide us with valuable insights into the mind of the protagonist, Holden Caulfield. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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