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Catcher in the Rye Essay: Levels of Meaning

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Levels of Meaning in The Catcher in the Rye

 

Protected by a cocoon of naiveté, Holden Caulfield, the principal character in the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, therapeutically relates his lonely 24 hour stay in downtown New York city, experiencing the "phony" adult world while dealing with the death of his innocent younger brother.  Through this well-developed teenage character, JD Salinger, uses simple language and dialogue to outline many of the complex underlying problems haunting adolescents.  With a unique beginning and ending, and an original look at our new society, The Catcher in the Rye is understood and appreciated on multiple levels of comprehension. The book provides new insights and a fresh view of the world in which adolescents live.

One way for readers to measure their level of comprehension in this story, is to explore the meaning of the title, it's effect on the book's theme and how it provides a deep look into Holden's character. Being an attention demanding tool, the title also can provide a mystery to which the reader can understand by pul...

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