Catcher in the Rye- Use of Lan

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby Pages: 4 (1484 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Not many great novels were produced during the post World War II era. Perhaps the greatest novel published was J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. This book, just like all other great works, was met by scathing criticism and unyielding praise. Many literary critics marveled at Salinger's genius use of language to make Holden Caulfield, the main character, unbelievably realistic. Through Holden's thoughts and dialogues, Salinger successfully created a teenage boy. Because of that The Catcher in the Rye became one of the few great post World War II works. The language used in The Catcher in the Rye has been a topic of controversy in the literary critic's realm. Holden Caulfield's thoughts and comments serve to deepen his personality and provide entertainment. Salinger wanted to create a typical teenager but also wanted Holden to be an individual. Like most teenagers, Holden speaks in trite sentences however he also uses words in places that were then uncommon. Holden often leaves his sentences dangling with words like "and all" and "or anything." Often he uses those phrase to extend some indescribable emotion or action like "… how my parents were occupied and all before they had me" or "…they're nice and all." But many times there is no significance at all to the expressions as in "…was in the Revolutionary War and all," "It was December and all" and "…no gloves or anything." (Salinger 5-7) Holden has many expressions which appear consistently throughout the novel. Some places, the expressions only serve to make Holden more realistic, other places Holden is trying to reinforce his values. Holden repeatedly comments on his hatred toward phonies. That is one thing that Holden hates more than almost anything. That could be the reason he frequently confirms a statement with "I really do," "It really does," or "if you want to know the truth." He also confirms comments by repeating them twice like "She likes me a lot. I mean she's quite fond of...
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