First Person Point of View: Catcher in the Rye

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First person point of view is most often easier to read than other narrative styles because it shows the main character’s perspective. When a story is told in first person the reader can feel as if they are talking directly with the narrator. Writing in other styles of point of views would take away the connections between the narrator and the reader. Therefore, Salinger writing The Catcher in the Rye, in first person gave the reader a better connection to the book, if Salinger didn’t write in first person; it would take away the tone and characterization of the book. In addition to Salinger telling the story in first person point of view he expresses tone. Tone is the writer’s attitude toward the material and or readers. Tone may be playful, formal, intimate, angry, serious, ironic, outraged, baffled, tender, or depressed. If Salinger decided to write in other narrative style the book would lose these factors that represent tone. Salinger uses tone to tell how the character Holden feels about things in his life throughout the book. Salinger starts the book off with the main character’s tone being negative and depressed. For instance, Holden says: “if you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like...” (Salinger, Page 1). This starts to show that Holden is a negative person and doesn’t care about the good things he has in life. Also it shows how Salinger expresses the tone of the book which relates the depressed and serious attitude Holden has. Salinger expresses a serious tone by making Holden a person who doesn’t like phony things. For example Holden talk about why he left his school Elkton Hills, “One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies. That's all.” (Salinger, Page 13). Meanwhile Salinger also expresses a lot of characterization in The Cather in the Rye while writing in first person. The main character Holden gives a...
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