Despite the debate that may wage on regarding the status to be afforded J. D. Salinger's writings, the author's books have not quietly faded into obscurity. Although published almost a half-century ago, the author's most famous work, Catcher in the Rye, enjoys almost as healthy and devoted a following today as the book did when it was first published. Because of a self-imposed exile that began almost at the same time the Salinger's career was just taking off, much of the substance of the writer's lifehis thoughts, ideals, writing objectivesremain shrouded in mystery. The few writings Salinger did offer up for public consumption, though, provide his audience cryptic clues into his inner most thoughts and psyche. The predominant figures in the author's fiction are societal outcasts, struggling to understand and accept the values of the world in which they live. As a result of their conflict, Salinger's main characters, and particularly the main character of Catcher in the RyeHolden Caulfieldcome to bear such labels as "mentally disturbed," "insane rebels," or "trouble makers." It is society as a whole, and not Salinger's characters; however that is twisted for accepting the tortured, hypocritical notions that seem to dominate religion, education and politics.
Given the attention and notoriety that J. D. Salinger's books continue to receive up and until the present day, it is a wonder that the author has done little for over four decades to bring notice to himself or his literary works. Instead, Salinger has attempted to shield himself as well his literary motives by taking up an almost hermit-like existence. Despite his elaborate efforts to hide behind a shadowy, elusive persona, J. D. Sal...
... middle of paper ...
... example to others. Shunning public expectation, Salinger has lived his life according to his own terms. Like the author's catcher in the ryethat person who stands as a sentry on the edge of the field in order to insure the well-being of othersthe writer has challenged us to reach beyond the comfort to be found in mindlessly adhering to societal norms. As a person reads the author's printed words, they can almost hear the centuries-old chant:
Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?
Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the glen
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need the warld ken (Burns 252)?
Burns, Robert. The Complete Works of Robert Burns. Ed. William Earnest Henley and
Thomas F. Henderson. Cambridge, MA: Houghton, Muffin. 1987.
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown. 1951.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Themes in literary works are central, recurring ideas or messages that allow us to understand more deeply about the characters. It is a perception about life or human nature that is often shared with the reader. In The Catcher in the Rye, there are several themes that can be found in the words and actions of the narrator, Holden Caulfield. The dominating theme in this novel is the preservation of innocence, especially of children. We can see this throughout the novel, as Holden strives to preserve innocence in himself and others.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
539 words (1.5 pages)
- In many novels the title of the story is more important than most people initially think. It often reveals important information about the story. In The Catcher In the Rye, Holden says that his dream job would to be the catcher in rye. This is significant to the story because of how Holden feels that adults are trying to ruin the innocence of children, and how he can be the one that saves them. Holden then realizes he cannot always be the one to save the children. This is show throughout the book but especially in the scene where Holden takes Phoebe to the carousel.This shows that Holden wants to be the catcher in the rye so that he can help keep the children their innocence from adults.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
985 words (2.8 pages)
- The theme of The Catcher in the Rye is simple. J. D. Salinger uses this novel to draw a clear distinction between the purity of childhood and the wickedness attained when one reaches adulthood. Salinger uses multiple literary devices including diction, symbolism, tone, and even the title of the novel to drive home his ideas about the innocence of children and the corruption of the world. The form of diction used in The Catcher in the Rye is a topic on which many people are strongly opinionated. Because the narrator speaks solely in the vernacular, the novel is ripe with vulgar language.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
869 words (2.5 pages)
- Holden Caufield emphasizes on the loss of innocence in children. He feels that once they lose their innocence, they will soon turn into phonies like everyone else. The loss of innocence is very common in the development in human existence. It is caused by many factors. Past a certain age, children are either forced or led unintentionally into a pathway of corruption. A child is also known to lose their innocence by desires, fantasies, and attention. But once they lose their innocence, they tend to desire to go back and pretend to be young again.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
1876 words (5.4 pages)
- From the Outside, Looking In Despite the debate that may wage on regarding the status to be afforded J. D. Salinger's writings, the author's books have not quietly faded into obscurity. Although published almost a half-century ago, the author's most famous work, Catcher in the Rye, enjoys almost as healthy and devoted a following today as the book did when it was first published. Because of a self-imposed exile that began almost at the same time the Salinger's career was just taking off, much of the substance of the writer's lifehis thoughts, ideals, writing objectivesremain shrouded in mystery.... [tags: J.D. Salinger Book Review Catcher Rye]
1679 words (4.8 pages)
- Unreachable Dreams in The Catcher in The Rye Many people find that their dreams are unreachable. Holden Caulfield realizes this in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. As Holden tells his story, he recounts the events since leaving the Pencey School to his psychiatrist. At first, Holden sounds like a typical, misguided teenager, rebellious towards his parents, angry with his teachers, and flunking out of school. However, as his story progresses, it becomes clear that Holden is indeed motivated, just not academically. He has a purpose: to protect the young and innocent minds of young children from the "horrors" of adult society. He hopes to freeze the ch... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
1131 words (3.2 pages)
- The Catcher in the Rye - Symbolism In the Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger uses different examples of symbolism throughout the novel to let the reader into the thoughts of Holden Caulfield. Three major examples of his symbolism are the ducks with the frozen pond, Jane Gallagher, and the Museum of Natural History. Salinger uses all three of these symbols to represent the thoughts of the central character, Holden Caulfield. While Holden Caulfield is wondering around New York City, he asks many people what happens to the ducks when the pond freezes. The repetition of this question symbolizes what Holden is truly asking for himself. He isn't trying to find out what will happen... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
463 words (1.3 pages)
- Understanding the Inevitable in The Catcher in the Rye If something is inevitable, it will occur at some point in time. It is an event that will occur no matter what is done to stop it from happening. In the book The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield tries to stop himself from maturing into an adult. The book details the events that happen to show Holden that he cannot overcome maturity because maturity is inevitable. Holden Caulfield has failed out of three other prep schools before his parents enroll him at Prencey.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
918 words (2.6 pages)
- The Theme of Hypocrisy in The Catcher In The Rye In the novel The Catcher In The Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield views his surroundings with hypocrisy and contempt in an attempt to avoid the corruption of adulthood. Holden places himself above the crowd because he believes everyone acts phony. In the process, Caulfield reveals his true problem: his refusal to change. Holden fears adulthood because it brings responsibilities and trouble. He believes all adults possess an aurora of "phoniness." His disgust of everyone around him reveals his fear of growing up.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
499 words (1.4 pages)
- J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye The novel The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, contains many complex symbols, many of the symbols in the book are interconnected. A symbol is an object represents an idea that is important to the novel. I believe the most important symbol in this novel is Holden’s idea of being the “catcher in the rye”. Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel, is not the typical sixteen year old boy. Holden has many characteristics that aren’t typical of anyone that I know.... [tags: Salinger Catcher Rye Essays]
2031 words (5.8 pages)
- Catcher In The RyeCatcher in the Rye by Salinger
- Catcher In The Rye
- Catcher In The Rye Essay Comparison With Freud
- Failed Support Systems in Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- Catcher In The Rye, Macbeth And Death Of A Salesman Comparison Essay
- Metamorphosis of the Narrator in Cathedral by Raymond Carver