ASSIGNMENT NO: 2
UNIQUE NO: 553393
STUDENT NO: 50097423
(b) The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
Before answering this question, read the chapter The Novel in Introduction to English Literary Studies, and work through the section on this novel in your Study Guide. Holden Caulfield, the main character in The Catcher in the Rye, is a typical adolescent and is experiencing the problems characteristic of this phase of life. One of his problems is that he is unsure of how to relate to girls. He is not even sure how he feels about them much of the time – in other words, he is ambivalent towards them.
Holden Caulfield is honestly one of the most interesting and complex characters that I have ever come across in a novel. I had never read “The Catcher in the Rye” before but I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how relevant this novel still is today. Holden’s attitude towards women is so contradictory and confusing. At times he comes across as a typical teenage boy, with hormones running riot and embarrassing moments. Yet, there are times when he seems so wise beyond his years and shows a tenderness and vulnerability that he keeps hidden. Then again, Holden sees girls as beneath him intellectually and often mocks them without their knowledge. He is very sarcastic and seems to get away with it around the girls that he wants to hang out with, is this because he likes to feel intellectually superior? There are so many quotes in the book that show his attitude towards women but I have selected a few that I think highlight his character so well. “If you don’t really like a girl, you shouldn’t horse around with her at all and if you do like a girl, then you’re supposed to like her face, and if you do like her face, you ought to be careful about doing crumby stuff to it, like squirting water all over it.” – Respect, tenderness. “Sex is something I just don’t understand, I swear to God, I don’t” –...
Bibliography: The Catcher in the Rye – J.D.Salinger
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