J. D. Salinger's 'The Catcher In The Rye'

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A discovery is rarely the endpoint, rather it catalyses an inevitable chain reaction of subsequent discoveries. It is through this domino effect of discovering, that allows us to gain new perceptions. Growth, isolation and loss are precursors for discovering new ideas, extrapolated from William Shakespeare's 1661 tragicomedy ‘The Tempest, Hannah Roberts ‘Sky High’ and J.D. Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ (1951). Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, elucidates the transformative power of meaningful discoveries that manifest an individual's desire to re-evaluate presumptions and reveal fresh insights into humanity’s moral flaws. These ideas consider the effect of discoveries which in turn can challenge preconceived understandings and ultimately act…show more content…
This concept is exemplified through J.D. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, where Holden seeks isolation rather than human interaction. "I took my old hunting hat out and put it on. I knew I wouldn't meet anybody”. The symbolism of the hat represents individuality. Hence, indicating that Holden places great importance in isolating himself, due to his desire to escape the malicious adulthood. Although, he was convinced that the world was corrupted, he comes to realise through self-discovery that isolation from society deters him from transitioning into adulthood. “The hat really gave him...protection but got soaked anyway.” The reflective tone, shows Holden’s belief in the power of protection that the hat possesses. Salinger successfully conveys that though individuals are reluctant to accept the truth, they will inevitably make a discovery, which has the potential to renew one’s perception and values. Correspondingly, ‘The Tempest’ effectively demonstrates that discoveries will inevitably lead to new insights of the world, when individuals make meaningful reevaluations of themselves. “Let them be hunted soundly, at this hour at my mercy all mine enemies.” The condescension in Prospero’s tone accentuates his alienation from greater society and his knowledge. Years of isolation, transformed him into a vengeful person who is reluctant to accept his reality.…show more content…
These discoveries cause reconsideration of values and changes in self as individuals learn to accept the change in their character. This is illustrated within Robert’s ‘Sky High’, where the persona realises that childhood is to be valued in its innocence. “The best climbing tree stood proud on a small mould of concrete.” The personification of the tree enables readers to understand that the tree is her place of happiness, reminiscing her childhood and the simple joys of life. Thus, emphasising that transitioning from youth to adulthood leads to new perspectives. However, the persona is now mourning the loss of her innocence, “an older more age-warped washing line… I now write my semaphore secrets.” The melancholy reflective tone, allows readers to sense that she is unable to be the innocent child she was, but rather having to keep “secrets” from others. Thus, explaining her naivety of the way she perceives the world. Similarly, the ‘Catcher in the Rye’ embodies Holden’s struggle to preserve the innocence of children and the inevitability of encountering the harsh reality of life. “...I have to catch everybody … I’d just be the catcher in the rye.” Utilisation of personal pronouns, represents Holden’s belief of being the catcher in the rye, in preserving innocence from the evil and corrupt world. The audience sees his cynical, oversimplified view of other people, and a large part of his
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