Catcher in the Rye, a novel by J.D. Salinger, is the story of Holden Caulfield, a cynical sixteen-year-old with prematurely gray hair that appears older than his age. Holden is caught at the awkward age between adolescence and adulthood. Set in the 1950s, the story begins with Holden recovering from a breakdown stemming from his expulsion from Pencey Prep School. Holden has already flunked out of three other schools. This man/child is torn between his desire to take on the trappings of adulthood and his desire to preserves the innocence of childhood. The title is a reference to the way Holden sees the world and his desire to preserve its purity.
The scene in which the author reveals the source of the book's title takes place in Chapter 22. Holden has left school and snuck back into his parents Manhattan apartment. He is speaking with his ten-year-old sister Phoebe in…… [Read More]
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye was first published in 1951. The novel deals with the issues of identity, belonging, connection and alienation. This paper will review five articles written on the novel.
"Holden's Irony in Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye"
This article by Lisa Privitera was published in Explicator in 2008. The article postulates that the irony of Holden Cauldfield is that the harder he tries to keep his family and friends at arm's length, the closer he comes to making unexpected discoveries about them and even himself.
This article points out that Holden has a sensitivity that keeps him from finding his place in the world. This makes the character readily identifiable to many teenagers. The character's perspective on life keeps him from readily making friends. He also wants nothing to do with the "phonies" who inhabit the adult world. And…… [Read More]
J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. The writer discusses the isolation that is experienced by the protagonist Holden and how that isolation is illustrated in the book.
In today's world teenagers are said to have a harder time than those of yesteryear. Many experts disagree with this statement and point to J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye to illustrate that teens have historically had a hard time finding their way before bursting onto adulthood ready to live (lkind pg 24). When teens become lost and isolated, both in fictional works, such as Catcher in the Rye and in real life it is often because they have not had limits or boundaries according to the experts. "Without such limits, values, and leadership, young people drifted into states that bordered on mental illness. Holden Caulfield, the hero of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, is an example of such a rudder-less…… [Read More]
One of the great American novels, J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is a spot-on depiction of disaffected, disillusioned youth attempting to come to grips with the sad reality that growing up means selling out. Holden doesn’t want to sell out; on the contrary, he wants to be the “catcher in the rye”—the one who allows children to live forever in their innocence and maintain their state of grace in a world determined to destroy it. In this article, we’ll discuss a dozen topics that relate to the novel, give a brief summary and analysis, describe the characters, and identify a few quotes and themes that will help you in your writing.
Holden is the anti-Romantic hero. His blunt honesty could easily be confused with cynicism, but the fact is that Holden just wants to be honest—which is ironic considering how often he tells lies to…… [Read More]
With such a vivid description of this densely populated, and optimistic city on the east coast during a time of growth and construction itself after the Great Depression of the 1930's, this element leaves a reader to focus in on the lead character here. Plus, elements such as his age and his "red hunting hat" demonstrate that he will direly hold on to that sense of self. However, his demand to defend and preserve that sense of self is hat excludes him from the world, prevents him from interacting, and therefore makes him feel both left out and victimized.
eaders can see that Holden Caulfield's alienation is the cause of most of his pain. He is his own restraint and self-absorbed sense is what blinds him. At times, he has an inflated sense of superiority, but more often than not he feels unwanted and unwelcome.
On the other hand, the…… [Read More]
Antolini when he takes refuge on the man's sofa. He is rude to the girls to whom he is attracted, showing a discomfort and immaturity regarding his sexuality. The only person to whom Holden can relate is little sister Phoebe.
When imagining a future for himself, Holden can only envision becoming a 'catcher in the rye.' This imaginary occupation is someone who prevents children playing in rye fields from falling off a nearby cliff. The cliff symbolizes a 'fall' from innocence into the worldly corruption of adulthood. Holden does not want to grow up: he only feels happy when not moving forward, as symbolized by his enjoyment of watching Phoebe going in circles on a carousel in the park. He does not want to conform but he cannot imagine a way of growing up in a non-conformist, non-'phony' way.
Holden is alienated from society, but because he is still young,…… [Read More]
Because Salinger allows him to stay in that world, we can cling to Holden as a pleasant memory.
The Catcher in the Rye is told from Holden's perspective and this aspect of the novel allows it to remain innocent and suspended in time, so to speak. Holden is like Peter Pan in that he does not wantr to grow up but he is facing the glorious future that includes his grownup self. Readers can read this novel and remember feeling this way themselves, reviving their bond with Holden. In reality, we must all grow up and shed some part of the innocent of youth. Holden remains young and forever clinging to that which must eventually fade away. He represents a certain sadness associated with growing up because the truth he must face is not easy. However, there is not much to be done for the innocence that dies with youth.…… [Read More]
An author is controlled by language just as much as he or she controls language when writing. The meanings imbued in a text do not belong to the author; they are universal human meanings. Authors are therefore not as omniscient as readers often imagine them to be. Coincidental with the "death of the author," then is the "birth of the reader." Readers are empowered by critical understandings of text that acknowledge an author's fallibility and bias. Authors are assumed to have authority.
Foucault suggested that the author as a powerful figure is a historical construction. The role and the idea of the author varies from situation to situation but also varies across different cultures and across time. Foucault also pointed out that ancient manuscripts were often circulated without authorial attributions. The author as a powerful entity matters most in societies in which the law protects intellectual property. In other words,…… [Read More]
'How else can men be when they live for their brothers?'" (Rand 151) Not only is there no separation between self and others but also living for others without thinking for one's self or tolerating disagreement, living in a kind of frozen state of agreement, is considered normal. Instead, Equality 7-2521 finally "discovers my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom. I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for anyone." (Rand 237)
Equality 7-2521 must break every rule and constraint of his society to realize his basic humanity. To lose one's individuality is not a stage of development in Rand's future, it is the norm -- but a perverted norm that Equality 7-2521 must defy. hat strikes Holden as perverse, however, often has more to do with Holden's anger at…… [Read More]
Catcher in the Rye, a novel by J.D. Salinger, is the story of Holden Caulfield, a cynical sixteen-year-old with prematurely gray hair that appears older than his age. Holden is caught at the awkward age between adolescence and adulthood. Set in the 1940s, the story begins with Holden recovering from a breakdown stemming from his expulsion from Pencey Prep School. Holden has already flunked out of three other schools. This man/child is torn between his desire to take on the trappings of adulthood and his desire to preserve the innocence of childhood. The title is a reference to the way Holden sees the world and his desire to protect its purity.
Salinger's book concerns the isolation of adolescences and the personal struggle that one goes through during the quest to establish one's identity. I believe this novel's universal appeal lies in the fact that it addresses feelings that are common…… [Read More]
Catcher in the Rye
Troubled Teen Kicked out of Pency Prep, Rejects Adult orld, Seeks Meaning in NY
Gordon's Books in Manhattan
212-555-READSixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield, who lost his fencing team's equipment on a New York City subway -- and caused the match to be cancelled -- has been dismissed from Pency Prep and is seeking emotional and psychological shelter in New York. Caulfield, still grieving over the death of his ten-year-old brother Allie -- who died of complications resulting from a struggle with leukemia -- has now failed to meet the requirements of three prep schools. Asked about the nature of his discomfort regarding attending these schools, the teen says that "Everybody sticks together in these dirty little cliques…even the guys that belong to the goddamn Book-of-the-Month Club stick together…" (131)
A reporter asked Caulfield what he has done in New York City now that he has been unsuccessful in…… [Read More]
1. "I can't see anything religious or pretty, for God's sake, about a bunch of actors carrying crucifixes all over the stage" (137). ironic in his rejection of martyrs.
2. "we looked at the stuff the Indians had made in ancient times" (118). This simplicity makes Holden happy
3. "They gave me Out of Africa" (18). Allusion to a more mysterious and exotic place, but escape is still desired (implied in the title)
"the trouble with girls is, if they like a boy, no matter how big a bastard he is, they'll say he has an inferiority complex" (136). Ironic because Holden does, and desperately wants to be liked by a girl.
Both the rain and snow quotes above exemplify this, as does the rain at the end
Loneliness is destructive, but company isn't always much better.
The book is told from Holden's point-of-view, looking back.…… [Read More]
Sets up the fact that no one can really be trusted.
f. "They were always showing Columbus discovering America" (120). Shows Holden's disillusionment with the world and discovery.
g. "told her I was going to South America with my grandmother" (58). Illustrates his conception of exoticism; depth/scope of imagination
Antolini's (possible) sexual advance -- ironic because it is what Holden was seeking from girls through much of the book, found unsought and unwanted with this man
The rain in the final scene matches the mood and acts as a purifier for Holden.
"I let it drop. It was over her head anyway" (72). One of the major themes is Holden's arrogance and perception of his own wisdom compared to everyone else's.
The point-of-view is first person, but looking back on the events after they have passed -- not long after, either, given the tone of the…… [Read More]
Bird in the House and the Catcher in the Rye
Both J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye and Margaret Laurence's collection of interrelated stories A Bird in the House highlight the struggles of the main characters as they come of age in unforgiving times with largely unsympathetic families, but the ways in which either character deals with these issues differ greatly, and comparing the two will help to reveal the particular statements each narrative makes about growing up and coming of age.
Holden Caulfield, the central character of The Catcher in the Rye, does not deal with his journey into adulthood well, not least of all because more than anything he desires to keep others from having to leave their childhood behind, and wants to become the titular catcher in the rye, catching children before they fall off a cliff that is adulthood. Of course, even Holden's desire…… [Read More]
Crafting a Catcher in the Rye essay on J.D. Salinger’s famed and beloved novel is an exercise both enjoyable and challenging. The book has done what so few pieces of literature have attempted to do and failed—it has remained relevant to youths everywhere, over half a century after its release. As a result of its celebrated quality, writing an essay on the novel can be daunting. This is because so many of themes and symbols have been picked apart and devoured repeatedly by scholars and critics. However, the better you understand the novel and the major concepts that shape it, the more primed you will be to write the most original and thoughtful essay you are capable of creating.
How does the loss of Allie motivate many of Holden’s actions, thoughts and feelings?
Authenticity matters tremendously to Holden. Is he authentic? Explain.
Jane is a pervasive force…… [Read More]
Salinger is an American literary treasure, best known for his novella Catcher in the ye. However, Catcher in the ye is but one of many in the canon of Salinger works. Salinger's short stories have recently garnered renewed attention because several unpublished Salinger stories were leaked online in November of 2013, three years after the author's death (uncie, 2013). Salinger died a recluse, and a man of mystery who was as much an American antihero as Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the ye. There have been numerous cultural allusions of Salinger's iconic novel and its quintessentially postmodern protagonist. Although no film has ever been made directly from the story of Catcher in the ye, Morgan (2010) points out that there have been allusions to Salinger stories in films like The Collector (1965) and Six Degrees of Separation (1993). Additionally, a 2013 documentary film about J.D. Salinger promises to reveal the…… [Read More]
J.D. Salinger: How the Characters in His ooks Interact With Society of the Time in Which They Were Written
The objective of this study is to examine the writings of J.D. Salinger. In addition, this study will examine how the characters of Salinger in his books interacted with society of the time in which they were written. J.D. Salinger's characters interacted with the society of that time through drawing the society into the stories and becoming a part of the daily lives of those who read Salinger's books.
One of the most popular works of J.D. Salinger is a 1951 novel entitled "The Catcher in the Rye." This book was an adult publication originally, that has since become a favorite of teenaged and adolescent readers. Salinger's characters became almost a well-known friend to readers of his books. For example, when the book entitled "Hapworth" was published by Salinger in 1924,…… [Read More]
Sylvia Plath explores ambiguity from the perspective of a woman living in a man's world in The Bell Jar. Esther receives different messages about who she is and who she wants to be. Society tells her to be the good wife and mother but she never adapts well to this notion. She feels ambivalence toward most of the women she meets and ultimately feels pulled in different directions when it comes to expectations and desires. The conflict Esther experiences results from what society expects from "good girls." The article Mrs. Greenwood sends her exposes the hypocrisy she cannot ignore. The article explains how a "man's world was different than a woman's world and a man's emotions are different than a woman's emotions" (Plath 65). The notion of women being pure as the wind-driven snow and submitting to the will of their husbands becomes more of a burden than anything else…… [Read More]
" Both of these statements are quite arguably true, yet both also smack of the immature self-assuredness that belies the innocence of the speaker, and it is this aspect of the girl -- her very pretensions to adulthood that, in effect, render her a more honest adult than most real adults -- that the narrator of the story seems to find the most interesting and appealing. As the girl is only beginning to glimpse the lack of innocence that accompanies growing up, and appears to be enjoying it, the narrator is able to travel the reverse course and rediscover an innocence thought lost.
This rediscovery happens in a far more direct way at the end of the story, when the narration has switched primarily to a third person, until Sergeant X -- who is obviously embittered, somewhat shattered, and generally disconnected from his life -- receives a letter form Esme.…… [Read More]
The English literature course was one that I thought would be difficult. I had spent most of my schooling learning to memorize things, and the books and poems I studied in that class were too complex to memorize. Elaborative rehearsal allowed me to understand by relating characters to people I know; by relating the messages in the stories to popular phrases or axioms; and through other similar means. I found that these simple, easy-to-remember things, when accessed, then allowed me to recall all of the rest of the information I had stored about each work. I found I could remember an entire novel simply by remembering a nickname I could give a single character. Hockenbury and Hockenbury claim that elaborative rehearsal is more powerful for storing complex ideas into long-term memory. I did well on that exam, and continued to use those techniques for other exams, each of which I…… [Read More]
Short story -- A brief story where the plot drives the narrative, substantially shorter than a novel. Example: "Hills like White Elephants," by Ernest Hemingway.
Allusion -- A casual reference in one literary work to a person, place, event, or another piece of literature, often without explicit identification. It is used to establish a tone, create an indirect association, create contrast, make an unusual juxtaposition, or bring the reader into a world of references outside the limitations of the story itself. Example: "The Wasteland" by T.S. Eliot alludes to "Paradise Lost" by John Milton.
epetition -- The repeating of a word or phrase or rhythm within a piece of literature to add emphasis. Example: The story of Agamemnon in The Odyssey by Homer.
Blank verse -- Unrhymed lines of ten syllables each with the even-numbered syllables bearing the accents, most closing resembling the natural rhythms of English speech. Example: "The…… [Read More]
portrayed in 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'. The book is quite old and the period of happening in the book is that of the First World War. The book was written by David Herbert Lawrence, an author who did not have a very high reputation as a classic writer in English. His intention was only to make money by way using his writing skills. Considering the period in which this book was written, he had probably gone a little too far from the limits which were prevalent in those days and the book was banned from sale in many countries as it was being considered to be obscene. In some countries, the ban even progressed to exist till the period of the 1960s. The reason was due to the prevalence of obscenity in the book and that was the primary reason to make the book extremely famous.
People were not permitted to…… [Read More]
Many adult readers disagree with the portrayed unreality of Dahl's books because in life everything is not fair, and good does not always win. Even when the hero of the Witches is permanently turned into a mouse, the reader is assured by the main character that, "I honestly don't feel especially bad about it. I don't even feel angry. In fact, I feel rather good" This lack of remorse is typical of Dahl's stories.
Similarly, many do not like Dahl's concept that virtue and poverty go together, such as with Miss Honey, Matilda's adored teacher. Some find this objectionable because it is a view consistent with Marxist philosophy, not one that supports free market capitalism.
Further criticism arises from Dahl's portrayal of adults, which many believe has a negative impact on the young readers. Throughout his work, authoritarian adults are often the victims of horrible revenge. However, what some find…… [Read More]
The vey cux of the agument comes to the cental point of censoship -- who must be potected and why must they be potected? Ideas, political, social, o othewise, may be the most dangeous fom of liteatue eve. Fo instance, in 19th centuy autocatic egimes, the ideas of Kal Max, even Voltaie, Locke, and Jeffeson wee seen to be subvesive because they challenged the ode of things, the idea that the monachy should ule by divine ight, and that cetain people had, by manifest destiny, the ight to be moe equal than othes. So, too, do images and vebiage change ove time egading public acceptance. At the tun of the centuy bathing suits coveed almost 90% of the human body, and a day at the beach would've been fa diffeent had some of today's skimpy G-stings o bikinis shown up. Similaly, sexual activity was hinted at fom the ealy days…… [Read More]
Vietnam and the Two-Sided American Dream
The Vietnam era began under a cloud. Kennedy had inherited a government neck-deep in covert operations and rather than check the rate at which the U.S. exercised military might in foreign countries, he accelerated it. The American Empire had been doing so for nearly two decades since the end of WW2. With the Cold War in full force, the ay of Pigs fiasco behind him, and the Cuban Missile Crisis causing panic worldwide, the last thing Americans wanted was more war. With the assassination of Kennedy in 1963 and the installation of pro-ground forces Lyndon Johnson, Americans were stripped of the carefree innocence of the 1950s. Camelot was ended. The 1960s and the 1970s became decades of radicalism in which American youth would rebel against the authoritarian tone of American foreign and domestic policy. They would rebel in their dress, in their speech, in…… [Read More]
Rule of the Bone
About the author
The author Russell Banks writes in the manner that infused his stories with a sadistic honesty and moral goodness that his characters strive to live up to. He writes in striking and most often sad tones about the drama of daily life (Anderson, eye net).
Furthermore, his themes of failure, of weakness, of the complexity of living an honest life were often desolating, but all his stories does contain a positive wisdom to them along with a sense of optimism found in the details that he carefully draws out of his characters' routine and everyday realities (Anderson, eye net). Hence, in my opinion no modern author writes more delicately about common man's uncertain search for the American grail of material ease and self-esteem than Russell Banks.
About the book
In writing Rule of the Bone the author Russell Banks took almost a year…… [Read More]
Proposition Statement: Even if the media might be racist or sexist in its content, there should not be censorship of the media because of the first amendment.
Freedom of speech means freedom to disagree
Attention getting statement:
Everyone knows that shouting fire in a crowded theater is not only morally wrong, it's also against the law. It's the classic argument against full freedom of speech. According to Chief Justice Holmes, as discussed in the history of the Supreme Court, The Brethren, the justice said that freedom of speech cannot be absolute, because for instance you can't shout fire in a crowded theater and call that free speech. But although most people might agree with him about that, still that doesn't mean that you can make that analogy with every restriction of free speech.
hy restrict freedom of speech at all? The problem today, some might say,…… [Read More]
azin, Mulvey, the "Male Gaze," and Taxi Driver
The claim that Taxi Driver refutes azin's photographic/realist notion of cinema and affirms Mulvey's idea of the "male gaze" is valid when one considers the film in light of the "lens" of director Scorsese and his journey for the hero Travis ickle. On the surface, it is a film about the "real" streets of New York City and the "real life" of an individual teetering on the brink of insanity while he drives strangers in his cab through the streets of Manhattan. ut below the surface is a film that is pure fantasy and that projects the male gaze on to the viewer and obliges the audience to witness the world through the eyes of the male protagonist and to interpret the world from his isolated point-of-view. At the same time, azin's notion of cinema cannot be wholly discounted because what makes…… [Read More]
Henry James's work is not only a book about bad parenting, as it is not a book about relationships. It is about a fragmented and decadent society where normal values, such as caring for your child and offering her a loving home, become relative. This relativism of values leaves the character without a norm and without intrinsic knowledge about doing what is right.
Maisie's parents are not necessarily bad people in a complex meaning of the concept of "bad," just as Mrs. Wix, no matter how much the reader gets attached to her because of the way she adores Maisie, is not a sublimely good person. At least, despite developing interesting characters, James's objective is not to define good and bad and categorize his characters accordingly. I believe his goal is to see what the characters are doing and how they are behaving in a particular societal context, namely that…… [Read More]