The Catcher In The Rye Journal Entries.docx

The Catcher In The Rye Journal Entries.docx - 1 I didnt...

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1. “I didn’t feel like going into the whole thing with him. He wouldn’t have understood it anyway. It wasn’t up his alley at all.” This conversation Holden has with Mr. Spencer exemplifies one of the recurring motifs of the novel: alienation, particularly in teenagers. Part of this quote sounds like the anthem of American teenagers: “He wouldn’t have understood it anyway.” Like most every other teenager, Holden feels alienated from those older than him. However, as I read further into the book, I noticed that Holden actually seemed to have an easier time connecting to those older than him, despite those connections being artificial. This caused me to retract my precious belief and instead it seems that Holden does not feel alienated by those older than him necessarily, but rather those in positions of authority. Most of the adults Holden has encountered throughout the novel and has had notable connections with were individuals who had virtually no power over him, such as the nuns. 2. “I didn’t even bother to get up. I just lay there on the floor for a while, and kept calling him a moron sonuvabitch. I was so mad, I was practically bawling.” This quote was particularly interesting to me because of the juxtaposition between the various elements of the scene. I usually associate anger with feelings of aggression, such as that displayed by Stradlater. However, Holden expresses his anger by “bawling”, which at first seemed out of character for him. The appearance of the blood and the red hunting cap also interestingly contradicted Holden’s sensitive reaction. But I believe Salinger intentionally used this scene as support for Holden’s statement that he was a “pacifist”. While he may be cynical, Holden is not violent. He prefers to get a rise out of people, not by punching them as Stradlater did, but by making snide remarks targeted towards their ego.
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3. “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful.” This line is extremely problematic for me, and not just for its grammatical incompetence. It creates so many problems for me regarding the narration and reliability of the narrator. To be completely honest, I never came to completely trust Holden as a narrator. After all, what reason does he have for being truthful with us, his audience? Throughout the novel, he continues to display his talent at lying, so I’m forced to be suspicious of his reliability. Both his words and actions point to him being a liar, so after this line, I stopped trusting Holden as a narrator.
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