The Catcher in the Rye– Language and Structure
Salinger utilizes language and structure to offer the reader an insight of Holden’s views of the world, which tend to be both positive and unfavorable. The category of the book is bildungsroman, which includes numerous circumstances that form the character; therefore in this unique, we read his efforts to finding his identity as he goes from his adolescent years to being a grownup. Nevertheless, he does not alter a lot throughout the novel, so this is inconsistent. ‘Contradiction’ is the term used when two principles are inconsistent or are clashing. At the beginning of the extract, Holden calls the 2 boys in the museum “hot shots.” This is since he sees them as ‘phoney’ for truanting school and after that lying about there being “no school t’day.” He likewise then goes on to call one of the young boys a “little bastard.” This enhances his negative views of others. Nevertheless, Holden was never ever a ‘perfect’ trainee either, yet does not mention his own misdoings with embarassment. Also, he could feel like an older bro to them as he says the boy was “almost keeping my sleeve.”6 This brotherly gesture might have advised him of the way he and Allie utilized to be. This opposes his preliminary view of the boys, which shows he is not able to stick to one thought.
There are several other instances in the novel where Holden opposes himself, for example, his mindset towards isolation. Further on in the extract, Holden winds up being alone in a burial place; he claims that he “sort of liked it in such a way.”7 This is specified concisely revealing that he knows what he desires, nevertheless, yet again, towards completion of the extract, Holden contradicts himself as he shows that he would not want to be completely isolated and does not mind being checked out by his moms and dads as he states “I ‘d let them go to, as long as they’re not phoney.” He implies that everybody else is ‘phoney’9 however his parents. This demonstrates how inconsistent his ideas are as he initially states that he wishes to be alone and away from everybody, however, he then shows that he wants to be accompanied by his household. Holden does not show much gratitude for much, yet he explains the museum as “nice and serene,” despite the fact that he usually feels as if he does not fit anywhere, which might be why he has changed a number of schools and is leaving his present one– Pencey, this is since he discovers it difficult to adapt to alter. It could also be argued that occasions conspire against Holden throughout the novel. Yet again, Holden then declares that he “can’t seem to discover a place that’s great and serene since there isn’t any.”11 This shows that he is unable to stay with one thought and is not sure of what he truly desires and requires. However, Salinger destroys the peace with the “fuck you”12 graffiti on the museum wall, which Holden does not appreciate as it disrupts his serene thoughts, or maybe it could be due to the fact that he finds it immoral as kids can see the writing and their minds require to be protected from what he feels is an evil and corrupt world– which is a disruption of peace. It could also be that he feels it’s a loss of innocence for the kids that see the writing. The writing likewise irritates him as he sees himself as ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, which is supposed to preserve the innocence of the young. However, Holden utilizes vocabulary such as “sonavubitch,” “bastard,” and “goddam,” which contrasts against this concept of him being the preserver of the kids as this introduces them to the real world of crudity and vile language. Yet he states that safeguarding children would make him ‘genuinely pleased’.
Salinger utilizes repeating to show Holden’s inconsistent ideas. He tends to duplicate himself when giving a viewpoint such as “he was a nervous man– I indicate he was a nervous person.”16 This indicates that he wishes to; in a sense assure himself of his own opinion. It makes him appear as though he himself fidgets as he repeats himself. Another example of this is when he declares, “I sort of miss them. I suggest I sort of miss them.” This again reveals that he attempts to reassure himself of his own judgment, thus revealing his self-contradiction and uncertainty of his own views. By reassuring himself he knows he is opposing himself and opposing the idea of Holden is confident as throughout the novel, Holden represents himself as positive individual who identifies his desires and has a clear idea of what he wants and requires. In addition, Holden reveals an incompletion of his sentences, which might be an incompletion of his thoughts as he is unsure if it is his own viewpoint. At the end of a large quantity of sentences he mentions, “If you wish to know the reality” and “and all.” This usage of language causes the reader to not think his opinion as being the truth as it s incomplete and changes the truths with “and all.”20 Likewise, he feels the need to clarify that it is ‘the fact’; this can be viewed as more of a method of him reassuring himself that it is the truth. It could also be that his perspective is altered by the injury he sustained. The effect of this language is that it makes the readers question if anything he says holds true, as he appears to have unsettled and unpredictable ideas.
The character of Holden is revealed to be complicated. Salinger opposes his every thought and view, which might be viewed as his more youthful self opposing his adult self, and the difference between the two ideologies/morals. With the category being of the novel being Bildungsroman, it is anticipated that the character quickly find their identity/inner peace, yet Holden experiences several interruptions, which prevent him from doing so. He fights his self versus maturing, yet does not wish to stay kid– like. It could be seen as a war between his wanting to stay a kid and to not yet go into the crude real life, where he’ll feel as though he is versing the world alone. It might be argued that Holden is simply experiencing ‘typical’ adolescent concerns that associate with his stress and anxiety about maturing.