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J.D. Salinger's Development of Holden Caulfield Essay

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Many authors put their own life as inspiration towards their works and characters. J.D. Salinger’s character development of Holden Caulfield has been affected by Salinger’s complications in his school life, devastating past relationships, and overwhelming traumatic events during his pre-The Catcher in the Rye adulthood.
J.D. Salinger’s school life had many significant events that are shown through Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. In the novel, the 17-year-old Holden Caulfield leaves Pencey Prep. In chapter one, Holden states “...I’d just got back from New York with the fencing team. I was the goddam manager of the fencing team. Very big deal. We’d gone in to New York that morning for this fencing meet with McBurney School.” Parts of Salinger’s school life can clearly be seen from this statement because at the age of 13, Salinger attended McBurney School and managed the fencing team there. After McBurney School, at the age of 15, Salinger “was sent to Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania, which was later the inspiration for Pencey Prep” (as said by www.nndb.com). This reveals how Salinger incorporated his childhood/school life in The Catcher in the Rye. Later on, Holden begins to describe Ackley in chapter three and says, “With a guy like Ackley, if you looked up from your book you were a goner.” In Valley Forge Military Academy, “there actually was a boy named Ackley...though fellow alumni have said that he was a very pleasant person” (as stated by www.shmoop.com). Salinger perhaps had Holden describe him in an unfriendly way because that’s what the young Salinger thought but couldn’t bring himself to say. In chapter 10, Holden is describing Phoebe by saying, “You never saw a little kid so pret...


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http://www.nndb.com/people/743/000022677/

http://www.shmoop.com/jd-salinger/childhood.html

http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/features/2162/index2.html

http://www.litkicks.com/JDSalinger#.U3qp3cbpXUQ

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246881/Why-did-J-D-Salinger-spend-60-years-hiding-shed-writing-love-notes-teenage-girls.html

http://partners.nytimes.com/books/98/09/13/specials/salinger-blocked.html

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_didn't_Holden_commit_suicide_in_Catcher_in_the_Rye#page1

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_spectator/2013/09/interpreting_catcher_in_the_rye_the_one_big_mistake_people_make.html

http://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-catcher-in-the-rye



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