Essay Example on The Catcher in the Rye a controversial Book

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The Catcher in the Rye a controversial book that challenged norms of its time Focusing on the main character Holden Caulfield and his stumbling journey from being a young student in school to free roaming decision making adult Holden has clashing emotions about his decisions in parts of the novel he describes his longing to be surrounded by people that he enjoys But he always has an underlying thought monologue that tells the readers how he feels these things include that Holden seeks out isolation Holden also is not your normal character he does things differently than other characters this brings up the next part of the thesis that Holden wants to be separated from the crowd The author J D Salinger presents these ideas in the form of rhetorical choices These include motifs and recurring symbols Motifs are overarching features or ideas that are dominant in a literary work Motifs are structures contrasts and literary devices that help to expand the writings primary themes One motif that the author brings up many times is intimacy and sexuality


Holden is always on the lookout for new relationships and in constantly talking about sex Constantly looking for new sexual encounters offers short breaks from the isolation that Holden is usually in When Holden thinks about relationships and sex he feels a longing for them but when he actually gets down to carrying them out he feels fearful of this new experience One example of this is on page 123 this quote is a thought Holden has when a prostitute is in his room and Holden regrets his decision of asking her in I know you re supposed to feel pretty sexy when somebody gets up and pulls their dress over their head but I didn t Sexy was about the last thing I was feeling I felt much more depressed than sexy Holden had sexual intentions with the prostitute fell pretty sexy but with his sudden change of mind I felt much more depressed than sexy this shows that Holden is depressed and seeks isolation This further proves that Holden seeks isolation and the author makes this clear through the motif of sexuality and intimacy Symbols are used constantly in writing they relay information to the reader that a character might not know Symbols are usually objects characters and figures used to represent abstract ideas or concepts These ideas become more important if they are used more than once One symbol used in The Catcher in the Rye is Holden's red hunting hat His hat is used to show his uniqueness and to separate him from everybody else

This is shown on page 27 I put on this hat that I d bought in New York that morning It was this red hunting hat with one of those very very long peaks I saw it in the window of this sports store when we got out of the subway just after I noticed I d lost all the goddam foils It only cost me a buck The way I wore it I swung the old peak way around to the back very corny I ll admit but I liked it that way In the section when Holden is describing just how he likes the hat very corny I ll admit but I liked it that way this shows that Holden wants to be separated from the crowd and doesn't care about what other think about him This is also shown later in the book I put my red hunting hat on and turned the peak around to the back the way I liked it and then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice Sleep tight ya morons p 68 Holden describes to the reader how he is putting on his hat the peak around to the back the way I liked it further proving that Holden wants to be separated from the crowd Following this description Holden exits his dorm in the middle of a snowstorm to go to New York City These circumstances and dialogue show that Holden does not want to conform to the norms and that he wants to be separated from the crowd and show his uniqueness When the book comes to end two things become clear that Holden seeks out isolation and that he wants to separated from the crowd These points are made obvious through Holden's thoughts and action The author uses rhetorical choices to highlight these illuminate these points they include recurring symbols in the form of Holden's red hunting hat Furthermore theme is an important rhetorical choice which is the Holden s constant urge to seek out intimacy and sexual relationships All in all these further help to conclude that Holden seeks out isolation and wants to be separated from the crowd


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