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Catcher in the Rye : Symbols, Motifs & Literary Devices

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sydney sandoval

on 29 April 2013

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Transcript of Catcher in the Rye : Symbols, Motifs & Literary Devices

By: Sydney Sandoval,Karla Cortes, Jazmine Villanueva, and Diana Catcher in the Rye : Symbols, Motifs, & Literary Devices Themes Growing Up Holden's main Concept in the story is his idea of phoniness in the adult world. His over simplified concept has many faults which Holden doesn't seem to realize. He pictures the world in black and white yet he can even adhere to his own standards. His problem is viewing people as fake and deceivers and he is appalled when they can't even see their own faults. But his actions and words contradict his beliefs and he is succumbed to his own "phoniness" and lies. Phonies Relationships and Sex Motifs Catcher in the Rye is a Bildungsroman which means its a story about growing up. In the novel Holden has a hard time grasping adult concepts. Holden is an odd choice for a "growing up" story because he seems resistant to the very idea of it because he feels that adults are "phonies" , superficial and liars. And that he wants to help children steer clear from this world by becoming "The Catcher in the Rye". He wants to protect children from falling off the edge, into the adult world, and keep their innocence and purity. Alienation Motifs Loneliness Throughout the novel, Holden tries to reconnect with people yet he pushes himself further into isolation with his behavior. He puts up a guard and acts immature and rude. Like with Sally she agreed to meet him and go out with him, yet he was disrespectful and "forced" her to leave. He does this to try to protect himself from being hurt by other people and from "phoniness". Yet he hurts himself by putting him further apart. Holden explains several times throughout the novel how he had several chances to do something with the girl, yet he never did. His reasoning was that he never had because when a girl told him to stop he would. He criticizes others and is bitter towards the subject because he doesn't understand it and because he is afraid of it. Motifs Lying and Deception Holden's main issue main issue with people is that they are phonies. What he takes the hardest is people trying to pretend something they are not. He criticizes them harshly but he is blind to the fact that he does the same things as well. He also takes offense to people lying but as soon as he got out of Pency Prep he meet a boys mother and started telling outrageous lies for no reason. He lies constantly lies and does not think of the consequences that they might bring. Theme Themes Holden's isolation as we have learned, is a form of self protection from the world around him. He gives off a vibe of superiority and that he doesn't want to interact with them. But as we have seen when Holden interacts with people it usually seem to confuse and upsets him. So he sets himself apart and spends most of his time alone. Yet his loneliness is the cause of most of his problems and his inability to follow through with human contact, especially with calling Jane frightens him, but without doing so causes him pain. Literary Devices Allusion The technique Salinger uses to narrate the book is called "Stream of Consciousness". What we read is not a straight forward chronology of events but a retelling of the events of Holden's meandering mind remembers them. This allows the reader to see the immaturity of Holden's thought process and unwillingness to grow up. Literary Devices Stream of Consciousness Allusion is a reference to a previous work or historical event. In this case, The Catcher in the Rye is a reference to a Robert Burns' poem. Holden hears the phrase as "catch a body coming through the rye" but it actually is "if a body meet a body coming through the rye" which speaks about adultery. Holden interprets this falsely and creates his "dream job" which is to protect children from the cruelties of the adult world.
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