Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Literature Analysis #3 Fiction Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

1. Catcher in the Rye is about a 16 year old boy named Holden Caulfield who is
just getting expelled out of Pencey Prep School in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. Which is now the fourth school he has failed out of. He begins to get himself ready to leave for Manhattan, but before he leaves, he first visits his old history teacher, Mr. Spencer to say goodbye. Mr. Spencer tries to talk to Holden about his poor grades which began to annoy him. Holden goes back to his dorm room where he is further irritated by his dirty neighbor, Ackley and his roommate, Stadlater. Stradlater goes out on a date with a girl named Jane Gallagher who Holden use to talk to and still cared about. Holden stresses over the subject until Stradlater comes back to Holden questioning him constantly about the date, insisting Stradlater tried sleeping with Jane. Stradlater began to tease Holden until he got mad and tried fighting Stradlater but fails and leaves Pencey with a blooding nose. He heads for Manhattan although he's not suppose to leave until Wednesday which is 3 days away. He leaves early and stays in a hotel without his parents knowing. On the train to New York, Holden meets the mom to one of his classmates at Pencey. Yet he doesn't liken this student, he goes on with made up stories about how shy the woman's son is and how respected he is. He goesbto a phone booth, when he arrives at Penn Station and decides on multiple people to call but then doesn't call anyone after all. He gets in a cab and asks the driver where the ducks in central park go in the winter, but he gets annoyed response. He checks in at the Edmont Hotel. In his room he notices a lot of weird things people were doing in there rooms as he stares out his window. After smoking a fee cigarettes, Holden calls Faith Cavendish, someone he has never met, but got their number from a guy at Princeton. He thinks he remembers hearing she was a stripper and tries to get her to come over and sleep with him. She tries to arrange a meet the next day but Holden couldn't wait that long so before they could set a time he ended the call. He goes down to the Lavender room where he comes across waiter who refuses to serve him alcohol and flirts with three woman who seem like they're from out of town who are mainly interested in spotting a celebrity. He ends up dancing with one of the ladies and later pays their tab. As he leaves the lobby he begins to remanus on how he met Jane Gallagher. Holden leaves the Edmont and heads to Ernie's Jazz Club where he runs into Lillian Simmons, one of his brother's ex-girlfriends which invites him to sit with her and her date. Holden makes an excuse to leave and walks back to Edmont. He comes across Maurice an elevator operator who sends a prostitute to Holden's room for five dollars. A young woman who goes by the name Sunny arrives, she gets undressed but Holden gets uneven about the situation and stirs up a conversation instead. He comes up with an excuse that he can't fully have sexual activity do to a spinal operation but still pays her the five dollars. After trying to persuade him, he sends her off with five dollars only to have her come back with Maurice demanding for another five dollars. Holden refuses and gets punched, while Sunny takes the extra 5 dollars out his wallet And then leaves Holden to eventually go to bed. Holden gets up and calls Sally Hayes, a girl he dated in the past to arrange a meet at a Broadway show. He has breakfast at a sandwich shop where he has a conversation about Romeo and Juliet with two Nuns and gives them ten dollars. He takes a cab to central park, hoping to run into his little sister Phoebe, but runs into her classmate instead. He helps tighten their skate then they tell Holden Phoebe might be at the Museum of Natural History. He ends up heading to the Biltmore Hotel to meet Sally instead. They head to the play then go to Radio city to ice skate. They sit down at a table where Holden expresses to Sally why he is unhappy at school and tries to get her to run away with him to Massachusetts or Vermont and live in a log cabin. She refuses which he calls her a "pain in the ass" and laughs at her anger. Holden tried to apologize but Sally left without listening. Holden cals his old student advisor from the Whooton School, Carl Luce, who now attends Columbia University to meet for a drink after dinner. Holden goes to movie at Radio City to kill time, then meets Luce at the Wick Bar in the Seton Hotel. Holden tries to bring up an old conversation he heard Luce talk about and tried bringing it up but Luce just got annoyed with Holden and excuses himself leaving Holden who continues to drink his Scotch while listening to the music from the pianist and singer in the bar. Holden makes a drunk call to Sally Hayes where they talk about their Christmas Eve plans. He tries to find the lagoon in the Central Park where he use to watch the ducks when he was little but didn't find it, until it got too cold. He decides to sneak into his house to wake up his sister Phoebe, where she forces him to admit that he was kicked out of school, which she gets mad about. He tries to explain why he hates school, but she just says he doesn't like anything. He goes on about this fantasy of being "the catcher in the rye," a person who catches children as they fall from a cliff. Phoebe explains how he misunderstood the poem when it says "If a body meet a body, coming through the rye," not "catch a body." Holden calls then heads to his former English teacher, Mr. Antolini, where he asks Holden about his expulsion and tries to give him advice about his future. Holden ends up asleep on Mr. Antilini's couch and leaves quick the next morning and winds up asleep for a few hours on a bench at Grand Central Station. Holden heads to Phoebe's school with a note saying they should meet at the museum at lunch. When Phoebe comes, she has a suit case filled with clothes and asks him to take her too. He refuses then walks her to the zoo and takes her to ride the carousel. It begins to rain but Holden is too happy watching his sister ride the carousel it almost brought him to tears. Holden ends the story telling the reader that he is not going to tell how he got sick. He plans to attend a new school in autumn and is very optimistic about his future.

2. The theme is just the hardships of life for a young teenage boy having to deal with the constant irritation of reality.

3. In the story Holden says "the best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move... Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you." I can see his tone, because in this excerpt he displays a very optimistic view on how everything stays the same in the museum except the people who come to it. Another, is when Holden says "... I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all." In this passage it shows he chooses to deal with the reality of his own mind rather than the world.


1. There's a lot of forms of indirect characterization in the book, like when Holden lies to his classmates mom about their reputation at school or how he responds after the prostitute undresses. There is also many forms of direct characterization when Holden goes on about his fantasy as the catcher in the rye or how he always asks the can drivers about the ducks.

2. The author's syntax or diction doesn't really change because  the main character is narrating the whole story.

3. The protagonist is a static and flat character, because he just think the same and feels the same through out the book and doesn't offer much change or difference in the story.

4. One example that makes me feel like I met a person is when Holden has a conversation with Spencer in chapter 2, "Life is a game, boy the rules." "Yes, sir. I know it is. I know it." Game my ass, all right I'll admit that. But if you get on the other side where there aren't any hot-shots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game." From this example I can see Holden is a deep thinker and focuses on the reality of life challenges and how they can't always be fare. Shows to me he has a better understanding of life then most.

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