Catcher In The Rye Dialectical Journal

Words: 811
Pages: 4

“Catcher In The Rye” by J.D Salinger is a book set in the 1950’s about a teenager named Holden Caulfield. Holden is the narrator of the book and tells what happens in the weeks leading up to his mental breakdown that causes him to go to a mental hospital. The author uses many literary terms in this book, but the three i chose were symbol, theme, and mood.

The first literary term used in “Catcher In The Rye” is symbol. The first example of symbol is on page 21. It is the red hunting hat that holden buys. I think that the hat symbolizes how unique Holden’s character is. He always says how he has to wear it a certain way because that was how he liked it. The second symbol that is used in this book is the ducks in the pond and is on page
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One theme used in “Catcher In The Rye” is protecting the innocent. On page 191, Holden talks about how he wants to be a catcher in rye. His description of a catcher in the rye is someone who stands on the edge of a cliff and catches kids from falling off. The theme of Protecting the innocent is also seen later in the book on page 221 when Holden sees bad words written on the halls of an elementary school. Holden starts getting mad and says if he found the person who did this he would hurt them. He then erases the words in order to keep kids from seeing them. The third theme in this book is how “phony” the adult world is. On page 48 Holden is in a bar and has to say goodbye to somebody he met. He says glad to have meet you to him and tells the reader how stupid it is how you have to say those types of things to people even if you do not mean it. Clive Baldwin says this about this theme “Caulfield's dismissal of Pencey Prep's grandiose claim is typical of his narrative voice through the text: 'Strictly for the birds'. His judgement of the school's claim is part of his attitude towards adult 'phoniness' and positions the novel from the beginning in a critical relation to notions of adult male …show more content…
The author sets the mood as sad at the very beginning, on page 1, when Holden tells you how his childhood was “lousy”. He also sets the mood later in the book when he tells the reader about how Helden’s little brother had died from cancer. Holden talks about how smart his little brother was and how they always use to play together. Holden also starts talking to Allie as a spirit and says “alright Allie get you bike, but hurry”. He says this because he remembers one time when allie was alive, that he would not let him come on a bike ride with him and his friend. This part made me feel sad because of how Holden felt guilty for something that Allie probably doesn’t remember. The third example of the author using mood is holden talks about James Castle. James Castle was a kid who went to school with him. One night, a bunch of kids were beating him up. Instead of fighting or running, James jumped out a window and