AP Language and Composition
July 30th, 2011
The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye, is a novel about a young boy named Holden Caulfield who gets kicked out of Pency Prep for poor academic performance, and must make a journey home. This novel is narrated by Holden himself, as you get a chance to view the world through his eyes as he deals with issues of finding out whom he is, and as he tries to make connections with people throughout his journey. The style of The Catcher in the Rye is very distinctive, and Holden talks directly to the reader. Some words are italicized to show the importance of and put emphasis on the word. There is also an abundance of swear words throughout the novel. The choice of diction that the author, J.D. Salinger, chooses shows just how young and immature Holden actually is. The tone of this book is very depressing, judgmental, and rambling but on the other hand it has its humorous and warmhearted moments. The tone is depressing and judgmental because Holden uses phrases such as “That’s depressing.” or “That’s phony.” to describe nearly every little thing. He also rambles and digresses very often throughout the book, like when he talks about “Allie’s baseball mitt”, or “playing checkers with Jane”. These short little stories don’t necessarily play a huge role in the novel, but are of great importance to him, and shows us what kind of person he really is and what he cherishes most. His humorous and warmhearted tone comes out mostly when he talks about his little sister, Phoebe, and how much he cares for her, or his late brother, Allie and how much he misses him. There were a few other rare moments when you see just how compassionate Holden can be, for instance, his encounter with Sunny. Instead of copulating with her, he chooses to sit and ask her about herself, thus showing compassion towards her. Towards the conclusion of the novel, something surprising happens. He confesses that he misses everybody he talked about, “even...
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