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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. 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
  2. "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
  3. 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
  4. 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 h**l on top of it". Due to the contextual time of post WW2 this was deeply shocking and disturbed many people, the atomic b**b 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, "g*****n money. It always ends up making you feel blue as h**l", 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
  5. 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
  6. "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
  7. How does the reliability of the narrator, and they style they use, affect the way the reader responds to the narrator and the novel? Discuss in relation to Wuthering Heights and Catcher In The Rye.

    Right from the onset of both books it is clear that neither narrators are very reliable. Holden Caulfield's unreliability is pointed out by Salinger within the first page, when Holden says he go "pretty run down and had to come down here to take it easy". It is clear to the reader that he has some kind of breakdown and is now recovering from hospital. Although the reader does not know the extent or the nature of Holden's mental problems it causes the reader to be wary about his reliability right from the start.

    • Word count: 2343
  8. The Catcher in the Rye - Consider and discuss 5 or 6 episodes in the book, which reveal different aspects of Holden Caulfield's character

    In the whole book, he puts on faces for the people he is talking to, almost never showing the real Holden Caulfield. A good example of this 'policy' is his conversation to Mrs Morrow on the train to New York (Chpt. 8, Pp 48-52), the mother of another boy he knows at his school, Pencey. When he first meets her, and discovers whose mother she is, he remembers what kind of person her son is. The story depicts Ernest Morrow as, "...the biggest b*****d that ever went to Pencey..."

    • Word count: 2331
  9. To what extent do the authors of The Outsider and The Catcherin the Rye suggest that society pressures individuals to fit in and conform to society's mores?

    Salinger also utilises settings to illustrate Holden's attempts to overcome his ostracised state. Salinger does this by surrounding Holden with other school acquaintances such as Ackley and Mal Brossard in a circa 1950's American cinema setting. The placement of Holden in a typical teenager's setting, such as a cinema, causes Holden to appear as if he is attempting to fit into society as a typical teenager; even though he has made it abundantly clear he cannot stand either the cinema or CUMULATIVE COUNT: 301 WORDS these individuals.

    • Word count: 2288
  10. The Catcher in the Rye

    (Salinger 37) Expert analysis claims: "Ashamed of his need- a sixteen year old crying out for emotional support- and unable to accept kindness since in his guilt he feels he doesn't deserve it, Holden is locked into his grief and locked out of family and society."(Miller 132-133) Even after Holden has resolved many of his issues, he still has not dealt directly with the death of his brother, even by the end of the novel (Bloom 14). One of the most telling pieces of evidence comes when Holden is asked by his roommate Stradlater to write a composition for him about something described in detail.

    • Word count: 2148

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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