Catcher In The Rye And O Brien Analysis

1157 Words5 Pages
Ka Ling Lee
Mr. Rodocker
English 11
10 December 2015 Both J.D. Salinger and Tim O’Brien express “truth” in their novels “The Catcher In The Rye” and “The Things They Carried”. But there are some differences between the ways they do so. “The Catcher In The Rye” is a story that is first-person narrated by Holden Caulfield, while “The Things They Carried” is also mostly in O’Brien’s first-person narration but sometimes in third-person perspective. First-person narratives allow readers to know exactly about the viewpoint and feelings only of the narrator. Readers would be like directly “connected” to the protagonist’s mind as they know all his ideas and thoughts in his head. “The Catcher In The Rye” is not narrated by Salinger, but by Holden
…show more content…
For “The Things They Carried”, the use of first-person narration by the author makes it sounds true and really did happen. But finally comes up that “almost everything is invented” (The Things They Carried, 171). They are stories. The reason O’Brien did not write about “happening-truth” is that “story-truth” can somehow reflects his personal feelings more. This is how he described “the man he killed” - “a short, slender young man of about twenty. I was afraid of him - afraid of something - and as he passed me on the trail I threw a grenade that exploded at his feet and killed him” (The Things They Carried, 125). And he told readers that this is a story-truth - “I did not kill him. But I was present, you see, and my presence was guilt enough...I remember feeling the burden of responsibility and grief. I blamed myself” (The Things They Carried, 171). Another example is about how O’Brien struggled before he decides to go to the war. “All those eyes on me - the town, the whole universe - and I couldn’t risk the embarrassment. It was as if there were an audience to my life, that swirl of faces along the river, and in my head I could hear people screaming at me. Traitor! They yelled. Turncoat! Pussy! I felt myself blush. I couldn’t tolerate it” (The Things They Carried, 57). All these things actually does not happen since O’Brien has not decide to leave or stay yet at that moment. But all of these can definitely let readers to feel the emotions of him. That’s why stories could also be a way to express truth. Meanwhile, in “The Catcher In The Rye”, Holden states clearly at the very beginning that “I’m not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything. I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy” ( The Catcher In The Rye, 1), meaning that Holden is only going
Open Document