In one of the best-known openings in American fiction, Salinger sets the tone for Holden's personality and narrative style. The first paragraph of the novel is often compared to the opening lines of Mark Twain's novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). From the beginning, we, the readers, realize that Holden is not a traditional narrator. He eschews details about his birth, his parents, and "all that David Copperfield kind of crap" (referring to Charles Dickens' novel by the same name). Holden speaks in the vernacular of a teenager of his day (the late 1940s). The literary point of view is first-person singular, unique to Holden but easily accessible to the rebels, romantics, innocents, and dreamers of any generation.After stating that he will just tell us about the "madman stuff" that happened the previous December, Holden typically digresses to describe his brother, D.B., who was a "terrific" short story writer until he
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.