The stream of consciousness style of writing is that in which the writing directly follows the character's thought process in either an interior monologue or through the character's reactions to external occurrences. Stream of consciousness writing is not typically used in books due to its clearly-defined limits and its extreme demand for a talented and devoted author. In order for the writing to be effective, the story must revolve around only one character, and that character must be developed extensively as a believable person through realistic thoughts and actions. The following of Holden's stream of consciousness is the reason that many seemingly unnecessary facts find their way into Salinger's writing. They are a direct result of Holden's roaming teenage mind. Many other works of literature have used the stream of consciousness writing style, so this alone does not make Salinger's work unique. What makes The Catcher in the Rye a unique literary work is Salinger's combination of stream of consciousness along with several other literary contrivances.
One of these contrivances in particular is the way Holden?s thoughts are set up in a specific order so that one ostensibly random tangent relates, contrasts, or plainly contradicts another. A good example of one of Salinger?s very intelligent and slightly vague contrasts can be seen distinctly when Holden places his account of children directly beside his account of actors, showing the difference between the two....
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All-in all, Salinger?s writing style is one of unique, masterminded inventiveness. Some may argue that Salinger has done nothing unique or inventive, but he has combined so many various and beautifully executed writing styles and devices of literature that no one on earth could argue against the fact that J.D. Salinger has masterminded a classic novel that has already lasted over sixty years as a great and controversial story. The examples of relationships, society, and life itself that Salinger has created in The Catcher in the Rye are so exquisite and so timeless that they have already reserved the novel a place in history as one of the greatest stories of all time. As simple and easily understood as the story is, the morals behind the plot and the subtle symbolism scattered all throughout Holden?s tale have turned the teenager?s journey into an epic excursion.
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