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Salinger’s Method of Expression

Uploaded by artik on May 23, 2006

J.D. Salinger was, and still is, one of the most dynamical and effective writers of the 20th century. With his book, The Catcher in the Rye, he practices the essence of freedom of speech, and yet, also creating a lot of controversy in the Literature world. Our reactions to his book with censoring and harsh eschew reaction leads to only one question, why and what? Why did Salinger choose this style of expression and what was he trying to express. Both of these topics will be discussed in depth in this essay. The fact that, through the character Holden Caulfield, Salinger is portraying how people grow from youth to adults will also be discussed.

Holden Caulfield, the seventeen-year-old narrator of this novel, addresses the reader directly from a mental hospital in California. He wants to tell the reader about the events that took place over a two-day period in New York. Holden, he first talks about his older brother, D.B., who was once a “terrific” short-story writer but now has sold out and writes scripts in Hollywood. The body of the novel follows. It is a long flashback, constructed through Holden’s memory. The entire story is basicly Holden looking back on his actions and reflecting on them. How he intereacted with everyone on his little rebelious adventure away from structure and adults and showing us how this played out. The Catcher in the Rye expressed through Caulfield, how young people grew to be adults in the author’s oppinion during its time of publication.

One of Salinger’s ways of expression through his main character, Holden Caulfiled, is through Holden’s reflections on events. As Holden once said, "Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that's impossible, but it's too bad anyway" (Salinger 121). His reflections on change are very negative, showing through these, that he is at the state of imaturity in his life. He does not know yet, that change is going to happen, and you need to adapt in order to become an adult. Salinger’s method of using a different style than other popular, and more accepted more books for his time, is another way of expression. A critic, Phillip Roth details how “…the figure of the writer has lately come to be placed directly in the reader’s...

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Uploaded by:   artik

Date:   05/23/2006

Category:   Catcher in the Rye

Length:   6 pages (1,444 words)

Views:   5871

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