Rhetorical Analysis Of The Catcher In The Rye

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The transition from childhood to adulthood labeled, “growing up” is a rite of passage endured by all humans. During this process, adulthood seems inviting and free, but only when we become members of the adult world, can the blissful innocence and youth of our childhood be appreciated and missed. The novel, Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger explores the captivations of youth and innocence experienced in adolescence. He uses literary devices of repetition and symbolism to illustrate this point.
In the opening passage of chapter 10, the main protagonist, Holden Caulfield places high value on the youth and innocence that illuminates from his sister, Phoebe. Salinger uses the literary device, repetition to emphasize the importance of Phoebe’s youth. For example, in multiple sections within the passage, Holden reiterates or repeats the phrase “When she was a little kid” to call attention to Phoebe’s adolescence and Holden’s preoccupation with her youth. Here, Holden’s emphasis on Phoebe’s age reveals his hesitance to transition from youth to adulthood. In other words, instead of embracing Phoebe as she is presently, Holden dwells on the past and is skeptical of the metamorphosis from adolescence to adult life. Furthermore, Holden constantly uses vivid phrases to describe Phoebe and her nature. For
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Throughout the passage, Holden reiterates memories of Phoebe's past and the “prettiness” that she exudes. Both of which, reveal Holden’s fear of growing up and becoming an adult. Additionally, Salinger’s symbolic use of Phoebe's red hair and her impulsive behavior reveal Holden’s longing for the innocence and carefree life that is enjoyed by his younger sister. Holden’s preoccupation with Phoebe as a child and his dismissiveness of qualities that are like an adult reveals his fear of letting go of youth and a life without responsibility that comes with being a
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