Catcher In The Rye Literary Devices

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Creating a story that transcends time takes the work of a skilled and dedicated writer. To be able to throw a global audience into the mind of a complicated character is a feat not easily done. In the novel “Catcher in the Rye”, the author, J.D Salinger, masterfully uses his story telling skills to portray Holden Caulfield’s miserable decent into adulthood in this expertly written novel. It’s not difficult to see the ingredients that Salinger used to concoct this relatable and dramatic story. He uses excellent themes that audiences have seen in their own lives, he uses symbolism that enriches the reading experience with deeper meaning, and he uses a unique writing style that further immerses the reader into the character and setting. Salinger’s…show more content…
There are powerful uses of certain themes in this story, and many are relatable to anyone who reads it. A strong theme at play here is sexuality. When he calls Luce, an older phony Holden once went to school with, he begins to directly identify his own personal troubles with sex: “‘You know what the trouble with me is? I can never get really sexy - I mean really sexy - with a girl I don’t like a lot. If I don’t, I sort of lose my goddam desire for her and all…’” (Salinger 148) to which Luce responded with the suggestion that he be psychoanalyzed. His physical desire for a woman is conflicted by his emotional desire for companionship, which leads to the next big theme. Holden deals with plenty of loneliness and isolation. Who hasn’t felt alone before? It’s a painful emotion that everyone can identify with at some point. His own depression and misery further pushes him away from those around him. He has such difficulty reaching out to people. For example, he always thinks about “giving old Jane a buzz” (Salinger 34), however he never does, perhaps for the sake of preserving Jane in an innocent light, rather than discovering that she, too, is growing up. The last theme that is highlighted is the loss of innocence, which ties together with the other themes in the book. Holden describes this fantasy he has to his little sister, of saving all children that are playing in the rye. “… If they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going, I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be’” (Salinger 173). His fantasy of sparing all the children in the world of the evil Holden sees is only to comfort himself. He has to give in to the reality that he must grow into an adult sooner or later. An important aspect of how he expresses all the themes in this novel is through his mannerisms in
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