Catcher in the Rye- Journey

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Most journeys involve a change in character. One example of this is the journey of self-discovery that Holden Caulfield undergoes in “The Catcher in the Rye”. J. D. Salinger uses a variety of linguistic and literary techniques such as characterisation and setting to take the audience on Holden’s journey. Holden Caulfield is a teenager who is struggling to fit into adult society. This is evident from very early on in the book when Salinger immediately characterises Holden as a very judgmental and cynical person. Examples from the very first page include when Holden refers to his brother D.B as a prostitute because he writes scripts for movies. He then continues “I there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don't even mention them to me”. He doesn’t even give his brother the benefit of the doubt over his occupation, and it is through phrases like this where Salinger creates the characterisation of Holden as a judgmental and stubborn personality. This is further continued throughout the novel where Holden continually uses the phrase “phony”, to refer to other people. He perceives the world as superficial, whereas it is his views on society that are lacking depth. This immediate characterisation of Holden by Salinger immediately establishes the fact that Holden is unable to fit into society. Salinger also uses the physical setting of New York to great effect in highlighting Holden’s journey. Holden spends a lot of time in Central Park, wondering where the ducks go in the winter when the pond freezes over. Initially one might think that Holden is concerned for their wellbeing however on a deeper level, he is wondering about himself and where he will eventually go given that his pond of childhood has already frozen over. This also has references to Holden’s dream of being the Catcher in the Rye, where he can stand by the edge of the cliff and save the children from falling off, symbolically referring to protecting them from the dangers and hardships of adulthood. This...
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