Another Catcher in the Rye

Word Count: 1498

Here is an essay on "The Catcher in the Rye" Hope you will
be able to post it! Through Holden\'s Eyes The Catcher in
the Rye has truly earned it\'s place among great classic
works. J. D. Salinger created a literary piece that was
completely unique. The entire novel was written in the first
person view of the 17-year-old, Holden Caulfield. The
majority of the story is compiled of Holden\'s rudimentary
monologue of \'complexly simple\' thoughts, the rest utilizing
his relay of previous dialogue. That and the use of unique
punctuation, digressing explanations, and complex
characterization, transformed the simple plot into the
complex literary classic. The novel\'s dialogue and
monologue alike, manage to relay the feel of natural
speaking such as: "I mean you\'d be different in some way - I
can\'t explain what I mean." The contractions; you\'d and can\'t
- since they are common in everyday language - establish a
very common and simple tone. Stress on the first syllable of
"different," reinforces the tone by demonstrating how
typically they speak, just as in reality. He uses dashes for
pauses and signaling associative digressions. Instead of
signaling pauses, commas are used mostly where
mechanically required, for instance: "So all of a sudden, I ran
like a madman across the street - I d*** near got myself
killed doing it, if you want to know the truth - and went in
this stationary store and bought a pad and pencil." Holden
Caulfield creates a thought provoking point of view. On the
surface many of his thought patterns seem unrelated and
straying from the topic. His association of topic with
digression is used almost constantly throughout the novel.
However, realizing that these digressions are very relevant
and even crucial to the topic allow the reader to gain true
insight to the character. His statements about his sister\'s
intelligence, followed by explanations of how well she listens,
reveals Holden\'s associations of intelligence with being quiet
and observant. Another example would be his tension
around the nuns. Even though he enjoyed the conversation,
he worried about being asked if he was Catholic. He stated
they "...would have liked it better if he were Catholic." This
gives insight to his discomfort with being judged morally, and
to his association of people of morals looking down on those
who don\'t share them. In Holden\'s descriptions and
thoughts, Salinger accomplished the most unique aspect of
the story\'s point-of-view. Instead of using the popular -
however overrated - style of well refined thoughts and
flowery descriptions, Salinger describes things as they are
perceived upon a first impression. Naturally the human mind
does not instantly process first encounters or experiences
into drawn out rhetorical metaphors. We must think about
them first, relate and compare them to past experiences,
then form associations. This is based on Jean Piaget theory
of assimilating new situations, accommodating them with
previous knowledge, then forming generalizations for
understanding, called schemas. [Houghton-Mifflin
Psychology, pgs. 49-50] That is exactly how Salinger
describes Holden\'s thoughts. Holden, like us all, has
difficulty explaining things until they have been thought
through. For instance, Holden observes Stradlater\'s
grooming and his looks. Then he compares it to the way
guys look in yearbooks, and what parents say about them.
Last he concludes, through comparison, that Stradlater is the
kind of guy that your parents ask about. He states: "I\'ve had
that experience quite frequently." In the more descriptive
writings of other authors, it is difficult to relate to the
complex associations. The majority of thought inspired by
these works can sometimes be just to figure out the point.
However, Salinger expresses the thought patterns of Holden
in the same inherent ways that all humans think, and through
that, relays a strong tone of realism and active thought.
Despite the lack of dazzling rhetoric, Salinger\'s descriptions
are no less intricate. They inspire a more natural style of
analyzation that most can relate to easily. A more logical and
linear path, relating to typical primal human thought, is
followed instead of abstract reasoning and artistic
representation. Finally, the elements previously discussed,
and a few independent ones, will be used to examine the
characterization of Holden Caulfield. Such as how
Caulfield\'s tendency toward constant introspection and
analyzing of his world, his digression of topics, and the
nature in which he speaks, gives us clues to his character.
His level of intelligence is in no way reflected by his lack of
knowledge on trivial issues. He is adept at reasoning the
things around him. Almost all of the insight Caulfield spoke
of were things that would not have been taught to him. Such
as repeatedly displaying understanding of human nature,
pretensions, and thought processes. However, despite his
intuition, he applies his often cynical and pessimistic
reasoning to