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Commentary on The Catcher In The Rye Essay


The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger is a very profound novel. The novel starts out by the main character, Holden Caulfield, recalling his life when he was a teenager. Holden is kicked out of Pencey and says he does not care. He decides to go to New York City and spent three days there to let his Mom cool off from the news of his being kicked out of school. J.D. Salinger uses first person narration to tell the story. By using first person narration, Salinger takes us into the most personal feelings and thoughts of the main character. Holden tells his story, and we also get to experience what he feels while he is going through the complications.

The first tool that first person narration does is help the reader learn about Holden's character. Holden leaves school on a Saturday night because he is bored and does not know what to do. He later decides to stay in a cheap hotel in New York until Wednesday. He plans on showing up at home after his Mother has had time to cool off. His plan shows the reader how he doesn't think things through. He is nave to think that he will be able to stay in the city in a hotel room until Wednesday.

Holden also seems to have an obsession with death. Most people contemplate death, but his obsession with the subject seems disturbing. The first death he has to deal with is his brother, Allies'. Holden carries his dead brother's baseball mitt with him where ever he goes. He reads the poetry that Allie wrote on it before he died. Another death that Holden also has to deal with is his classmate's death. His classmates name was James Castle. He doesn't even know this guy, but yet he lends his turtleneck to this guy.

Throughout the novel we hear the narrator talk about phonies constantly. He hates when grownups are phony. He calls his brother, D.B. a phony because he went to Hollywood to become a writer.

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