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Copy of The Catcher in the Rye Introduction
Transcript of Copy of The Catcher in the Rye Introduction
by J.D. Salinger
“Some of my best friends are children,”
says Jerome David Salinger, 32.
“In fact, all of my best friends are children.”
—TIME Magazine, July 16, 1951
The Catcher in the Rye has never been made into a major motion picture or theatrical adaptation, although renowned director Steven Spielberg (and others) have tried to acquire the rights.
Mark David Chapman asked former Beatle John Lennon to sign a copy of the book earlier in the morning of the day that he murdered Lennon. Police found the book in his possession upon apprehending the psychologically disturbed Chapman.
Idiom - noun
an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one's head.
The majority of the novel takes place
in New York City during post-WWII
(1945+) America. The journey begins
just a week before Holden’s Christmas break.
A young man, Holden Caulfield, is in a mental institution where he is recovering from a recent mental breakdown.
The entire novel is a flashback of the events that had led up to his emotional destruction. The flashback begins with Holden leaving the boarding school he had been attending because of lackluster grades.
Flashback. A device that allows the writer to present events that happened before the time of the current narration or the current events in the fiction.
Holden went to a prep school in Pennsylvania
that ran ads which promised excellence. This is
a copy of a page of ads in The New York Times
from the time period of the book.
17-year old protagonist and narrator;
he finds himself upset with the society
in which he lives.
He goes on a journey to find himself.
He’s immature but makes attempts to act mature.
He refuses to accept people that value material things and labels them “phonies.”
He is hypocritical, and that is perhaps
the trait that causes him to self-destruct.
Hypocrite - a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess.
Holden tells a story of three days in his life.
He has just flunked out of Pency Prep, his third boarding school.
After leaving Pency Prep early for Christmas break—
his parents are unaware that he has been expelled again—
he spends the next three nights wandering aimlessly around NYC.
He is depressed and is trying
to decide whether to run away
for good or return to his parents.
Holden versus Himself
Difficulties dealing with everyday life and feels everyone around him is a phony (reason for mental breakdown).
His internal conflict leads to
seclusion from the outside world.
Holden versus Society
He believes everyone is a phony
and doesn’t see the good in anyone.
This is due to his strong opposition to material wealth.
Can’t communicate with anyone except for his little sister, Phoebe.
Can’t function as a normal part of society because of his hatred towards all phonies (everyone).
1. Loss of innocence
2. Rebellion from society
3. Mental instability
Holden uses many idioms
when he speaks.