'Catcher In The Rye' By JD Salinger: Passage Analysis

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In the Spencer passage from “Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger, it is demonstrated that Holden has an aversion of adults through repetition of certain words to create distinction and motifs to signify what Holden constantly thinks about, giving insight to his interests. Holden shows his disinterest of adults by creating a clear distinction of him and Mr. Spencer by continually calling him “old.” This repetition of “old” demonstrates that Holden thinks that they are very different parts of their life: “Old Spencer had this very sad, ratty old bathrobe that he was probably born in. I don’t much like to see old guys in their pajamas and bathrobes anyway.” This quote highlights that Mr. Spencer is too old to care about his appearance, which is the opposite for Holden who is critiquing the outfit. Holden emphasizes these stark differences by using the word, “old” multiple times. With this wording, Holden goes through the trouble to make sure the reader knows that he is nowhere near Mr. Spencer’s adulthood, even though Holden is on the cusp of adulthood. In Holden’s mind, he still classifies himself as a youth. In addition,through the motif of the ducks at the lake, Holden shows that he has more of a connection and understanding to youth than adults. Holden disregards what Mr. Spencer says and instead wonders about ducks at a lagoon: “I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away I could shoot the old bull to old spencer and think about those ducks at the same time.” This quote talks about how ducks in the winter have to travel far away and have nothing to eat since the
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