JD salingers book, "Catcher in the rye" captures a few days in the life of Holden Caulfield. Holden's journey of self descovery begins when he is kicked out of Pencey College. Holden's feelings, the people he encounters and often his concerns are revealed to the reader through his thoughts. He adresses the reader as "you" and often repeats what he says, as if he is talking to you. It is an autobiography with a mix of comedy, satire, drama and adventure.Salinger begins with telling the reader that it is not going to be a typical autobiography. Holden is kicked out of Pencey a week before the end of school, a letter is sent to his parents – but he leaves earlier and spends three nights hanging around New York city. The book is set in the 1950s, around Christmas time when it is winter in America. Before Holden sneaks out of Pencey we are introduced to his classmates Stradlater and Ackley. Holden describes them using his favourite word From this and other criticism of upper class American society we can clearly see the authors attitudes to people. The novel is a series of anecdotes both from his past and present. Holden gets beaten up twice, goes on dates, stays up till early morning and sleeps in trashy hotels. The novel is a description of a developing nervous breakdown – unexplained depression, impulsive spending and generally odd behaviour. The main themes of the book revolve around the troubles of adolesence. Not knowing what to do with life. Sexuality, drinking, socialsing – living up to your parents expectations. The theme of social class divisions in the 50's is also evident. Holden is a sarcastic, nasty and at the same time… completely likeable kind of guy. He doesn't care about his future. He often lies because he wants people to feel good about him. He is every teenager caught between the pet …
The book Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, was a novel filled with many symbols and motifs. The many images that were put into the plot helped the reader understand the book in its entirety and helped convey the numerous views in the world of that time. Two of the most important motifs that were included in the book were: "the fall ", and Holden's brother Allie. I believed that the motif of Allie played a large part in the idea of "the fall", but it didn't receive as much attention as it deserved.
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Allie was Holden's little brother who was two years younger than Holden.On July 18, 1946, he died in Maine of leukemia. The thing that made him an interesting character was his left handed baseball mitt.He had taken the time to write poems over every inch of the glove in green ink.He decided to do this so that he always had something to read when he was playing in the field.
When Allie died, Holden went into the garage and shattered all the windows in the building with his right hand.He then proceeded to hit the car windows but they would not break. He tried numerous times until he could not take the pain any longer. He still hasn't been able to make a fist or have any grip strength in his injured hand.One of the interesting things that came up is that he injured his right hand, and Allie's glove was a lefty, meaning that it would fit onto Holden's injured right hand.This shows that in a sense, Allie may be gone from this earth, but he his still there to help Holden in ways that Holden may not see at the time.
Allie has played a large part in Holden's life.He was one of Holden'sfirst experiences with death.He may have never had to deal with the loss of a loved one before.Holden had to miss the funeral for Allie due to the injuries in his hand; he was in the hospital having his wounds attended to….