Catcher In The Rye Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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In every novel around the globe you can find carefully constructed paragraphs, written by the author to send a specific message to the readers. In The catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, one particular section overflows with symbolism, metaphors, and hidden messages. By analyzing the passage’s diction, setting, and selection of detail it is possible discern the less overt statements hidden in the text and reveal the turbulent nature of the main character, Holden Caulfield. The diction of this passage appears to be the key in unraveling Holden’s mood swings. Whenever Holden comments on other people, he calls them “phony” in order to distance himself emotionally and isolate his feelings. Even when talking about his sister Phoebe, with whom he holds the strongest emotional bond, he simply says she would “feel pretty bad if [Holden died]. She likes [Holden] a lot.” (173). In the instances Holden finds himself unable to insult a particular relationship to discourage himself from becoming attached, he…show more content…
While most people would relish contently in their childhood memories, Holden becomes agitated when he enters Central Park, searching restlessly for the duck pond. After stumbling blindly through the increasingly “darker and darker and spookier and spookier” (170) park, Holden finds the pond “partly frozen and partly not frozen.” (171). The significance of the park’s aura of eeriness and the half frozen pond in relation to Holden’s mood is that the increasingly darkening park can be seen as Holden’s darkening thoughts of death and drawn out speculation about what would happen if he caught pneumonia and died; it also connects to a larger metaphor that the pond represents Holden’s view of the world, the half frozen, half not frozen, state of the pond resembles Holden’s transition from a teenager to an adult, and the ducks are symbolically associate with rebirth and
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