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J.D. Salinger's Artistic Writing Style Illustrated in The Catcher in the Rye

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What is an artist? What makes an artist? Is something a piece of artwork only if it can be placed in a museum? An artist is anyone who practices any of the various arts including: sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker. One can become an artist through practice, perfection, and uniqueness in their category of art. And finally, no, anything can become a piece of artwork. So is J.D. Salinger’s style of writing and creating artistic? Yes. J.D. Salinger’s style of writing and creation is artistic and exemplified through his creation of symbols, tone and diction, and character development.
To begin with, J.D. Salinger’s style of creating symbols is artistic. In The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger creates symbols mainly regarding Holden as a character including: Holden’s red hunting hat, the ducks in the lagoon, and the Museum of Natural History. Holden’s red hunting hat plays a prominent role in this novel, as it is continuously mentioned and involved. The reader can infer the red hunting hat symbolizes Holden’s individuality and his attempt to break free from the ‘phonies’ around him. The reader discovers Holden’s extreme dislike of phonies when learning about why Holden drops out/ quits Elkton Hills. Holden explains to Old Spencer, ‘“One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies”’ (19). By wearing this red hat Holden is attempting to stand out and be different. He is not trying to ‘be like everyone else’ or ‘phony’ instead he is displaying his true personality. However throughout this story, Holden struggles to discover his path in life, which leads to the second symbol, the ducks in the lagoon. Holden wonders to himself, “I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it...


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...ut with. But surprisingly Holden likes him and finds Ackley good company. Holden is one of the best examples. Holden comes off as the student who doesn’t care about anyone or his goals. Instead the reader finds Holden contains great compassion. In fact, the main reason Holden does not go directly home after getting kicked out of Pency is because he doesn’t want to hurt his mom. As one can see, Salinger exemplifies his artistic style of creating characters by putting a twist to the character’s personality, something typically not seen.
J.D. Salinger’s style of writing and creation is artistic and exemplified through his creation of symbols, tone and diction, and character development. J.D. Salinger is an artist because of his uniqueness, individuality, and in depth though process used to create this novel. Artists are not always who one thinks, but can be anyone.


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