Literary Notebook: The Catcher in the Rye
AUTHOR: Jerome David Salinger was born January 1, 1919. He died on January 27th 2010 due to natural causes. Salinger grew up in Manhattan. He started writing short stories in secondary school. In 1951 Salinger wrote the book The Catcher in the Rye and it was quite a sensation. Many people love the narrator Holden Caulfield. The book The Catcher in the Rye is still a popular book today even though it was written in 1951.
FORM: The Catcher in the Rye consisted of 26 chapters. This story had the main character, Holden Caulfield who is essentially telling his story to the audience. He is the narrator throughout the whole story. In the novel he’s telling about what happened to him last Christmas. The way Holden told the story, there were always surprises. You could never just guess what will happen next like most books.
SUMMARY: This novel is about a sixteen- year old boy named Holden Caulfield. The story begins with Holden just being kicked out of school a couple of days before he was supposed to return home. Throughout the story you get Holden’s view on the world. Holden decides not to go home but instead he goes to New York. Throughout the book Holden tells the reader thorough depictions on each character he interacted with throughout the book. Holden finally goes home to see his sister Phoebe and an old teacher. He tells her he’s leaving, she wants to go with him; but he says no. Essentially the story ends with Holden saying he misses everyone he wrote about. The plot for The Catcher and the Rye was quite simple. The exposition is he gets kicked out of boarding school and starts explaining about his life. The rising action is when Holden has conflict with the prostitute sunny and Maurice. Also, when he sneaks back to see Phoebe. The climax is when he tells Phoebe he’s going to over out west to start a new life for himself. The falling action would be when Phoebe gets mad at him and starts to ignore him. The resolution is when Holden decides to say and not move.
THEME: A theme for this novel is “Don’t be a hypocrite”. Throughout the novel, Holden continues to be a hypocrite. He says one thing and then does another. For example when Holden seen “fuck you” on the wall , and he got mad because children shouldn’t be exposed to that stuff. But then later he goes and uses profanity with Phoebe, when earlier he was just saying people shouldn’t do it. Holden seems to really have a problem with going back on his word throughout the book.
IMAGERY: J.D Salinger uses vivid imagery all through the novel. For example, when he has Holden say “I kept picturing myself catching him at it, and how id sash his head on the stone steps till he was good and goddam dead and bloody” (201) . Holden says this about whoever wrote “fuck you” on the wall at Phoebe’s school. It was evident Holden didn’t really like that. J.D Salinger created a very violent picture in the readers head on the part of the book.
MAJOR CHARACTERS: Major character #1: Holden Caulfield is the narrator and the protagonist in the book, The Catcher in the Rye. Holden is a sixteen- year old teenager who’s been kicked out of a boarding school called Pencey Prep. Holden Caulfield is very judgmental of everybody and everything. Throughout the novel Holden often calls people phony, because they act the “typical” way. In many ways Holden is considered to be a hypocrite. Major character #2: Phoebe Caulfield is Holden’s little sister. Phoebe is ten years old. She’s like Holden’s little diary. She understands him, and she is very mature for her age. Phoebe loves to dance. In the novel Phoebe shows good character when she has Holden’s back. She lies to her mother about taking a puff of cigarette so Holden wouldn’t get caught. Major character #3: Mr. Antolini is main character because he has a major role in Holden’s life even though he was only in the book for a liitle time. Mr. Antolini was Holden’s