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Commentary on The Catcher In The Rye Essay


In, The Catcher in the Rye, the story of a teenage rebel is told in a first person narrative. Holden Caulfield is the main character, and most troubled character in the book. The story is told by Holden himself and about his everyday encounters with problems in society. J.D. Salinger, the author of the book, creates a rather interesting and controversial character of Holden, leaving Salinger many critics to questions his use of language and life examples. The book is written as if it is an edited psychoanalysis which is sustained by the rambling first-person narrative(Seng). The setting, theme and characters in the novel all come together in a perfect masterpiece of literature in the form of The Catcher in the Rye.

One literary technique Salinger uses in his novel is that of character development. Holden, who is a young teenager who lacks maturity and responsibility, leads us along a novel on where he struggles to find adulthood.

They gave me frequent warning to start applying myself-specially around midterms, when my parents came up for a conference with old Thurmer. But I didnt do it so I got the ax.(4)

Holdens inability to cooperate with his elders and school lead to his expulsion from Pencey. The result of Holdens immaturity it provides him problems with adulthood and problems interacting with his peers, therefore leaving him as a sort of a outcast. He feels very alone in the world because he cannot find anybody to interact with due to his idealistic attitude and zero tolerance for people and their absence of good (Baumbach). Because he can neither save his evil world nor live in it as it is, he retreats into fantasy-into childhood (Baumbach). All teenagers have felt the way Holden feels in the movie. Like we are better than anyone else and that adults should not have authority over us just because we are younger and dont have full-time jobs. However, just like us, Holden starts to mature into the young responsible adult we all become eventually.

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