Catcher in the Rye

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Adam Canady
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Pages 1-105 of 210

Reading JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye has been an interesting experience for me. It has opened me up to a whole new world of literary analysis and dynamic contrasting of characters by reading a semi modern novel as opposed to a short story or an epic poem as the I have in the past. Throughout this journal, I will be highlighting certain passages from the first half novel that portray character, theme and conflict. I will conclude with my predictions for the second half of the book, and some questions I have about the first half. “Jane Gallagher,” I said. I couldn’t get over it. “Jesus H. Christ” Old Stradlater was putting Vitalis on his hair. My Vitalis.

“She’s a dancer,” I said. “Ballet and all. She used to practice about two hours every day, right in the middle of the hottest weather and all. She was worried that it might make her legs lousy – all thick and all. I used to play checkers with her all the time.”

“You used to play what with her all the time?”
“Checkers, for Chrissake!”
“Yeah. She wouldn’t move any of her kings. What she’d do, when she’d get a king, she wouldn’t move it. She’d just leave it in the back row. She’d get them all lined up in the back row. Then she’d never use them. She just liked the way they looked when they were all in the back row.”

Stradlater didn’t say anything. That kind of stuff doesn’t interest him. -Salinger, p. 31

Holden clearly is obsessed with this Jane Gallagher girl and further shows how observant he is of certain things. This helps the reader understand why he is so descriptive about certain things and goes off on tangents so much. JD Salinger also uses Holden’s repetition of his central thoughts to place emphasis on how much Holden really is concerned with Jane and that he is clearly in a state of nostalgia when describing his old times with her to...
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