The Palpable Tension Within

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“Stress is the trash of modern life”, if we do not take care of it, it will consume life (Guillements). Stress can be created by almost anything, but not all stress is negative. Some stress causes excitement, is good for creating tension. In The Catcher in the Rye written by JD Salinger and the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time written by Mark Haddon, face a lot of stressful times. Palpable tension is created in both novels by both authors effectively using literary techniques by such as motif, allusions, and the use of profanity. In both The Catcher in the Rye and the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Motif was used by both authors in order to create tension. Both authors use a reoccurring symbol, motif, which made the main characters feel protected or safe. In The Catcher in the Rye, the main character Holden Caulfield has a red hunting hat; his odd hat made him feel secure and safe. Holden explicitly states that “[his] hunting hat really gave [him] a lot of protection” (212). At this part in the novel it was raining and the hunting hat may have been used for protection from the rain, but upon deeper examination, this statement can be read as Holden telling the audience how his odd, red hunting hat gives him protection from the outside world. Just like Holden’s red hunting hat makes him feel secure, in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the main character Christopher uses his Swiss Army knife the same way Holden uses his red hat, for protection. He “took [his] Swiss Army knife out”, his rationale was “in case [his father] found [them]” (127). Christopher’s reaction to a superficial danger is the brandishing of his Swiss Army knife. “[he] didn’t like her being so close”, so he told her “... ... middle of paper ... ...rom Haddon, both authors achieve making tension between characters by using profanity. Motif, allusions, and profanity are literary devices that are effectively used in both In The Catcher in the Rye written by JD Salinger and the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time written by Haddon, to create palpable tension between not only characters in the novels, but between the reader and the novel too. Tension is a synonym for stress; not all stress is negative. Negative Stress can build up and consume life, but positive stress can create good suspense and a likeable novel. Works Cited Guillements, Terrie. The Quote Garden. Self-published, March 18, 1998. Web. May 16, 2010 Haddon, Mark. The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time. Random house, Inc, 2003. Book. Salinger, J.D. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. America: Little Brown and Company, 1945. Book.
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