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Catcher in the Rye Introduction
Transcript of Catcher in the Rye Introduction
by J.D. Salinger
Written in 1951, Catcher is still, 60+ years later,
one of the most banned books in America
It is banned for a number of reasons:
References to Sex
Undermining Family Values
It is also behind some of the most famous
assassination plots in American history:
John Hinckley Jr.'s attempt on Ronald Reagan
Mark David Chapman's assassinating John Lennon.
As he was being arrested, Chapman pulled the book out of his back pocket. Inside, he had written, "To Holden Caulfield, From Holden Caulfield, This is my statement."
however, One of the reasons why Catcher is so
Great is because it portrays two contrasting
literary techniques: Realism and romanticism.
(This doesn't sound great, but it is. No, really.)
Use of language: 16-year-old jargon
Social Criticism -- family and school
Real problems that adolescents
face in the process of maturity
Science is a form of realism,
As it only deals with established,
Innocence of childhood
Idealizing the past
Emphasis on individual growth
Quest for "truth": of world, self, etc.
on aesthetics, emotions
(He's probably tougher than he looks...)
Banned Books Map: 2010
Romanticism also stresses the Byronic hero: a gifted, idealised often misunderstood loner.
Qualities of a hero:
Before we discuss Catcher
and its brillance, a quick word on
Salinger grew up in New York and was drafted into WWII. It is argued that Salinger saw more of war's horrors than any other American: he was on Utah beach on D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, and others.
Just before he left, the New Yorker magazine accepted his short story "Slight Rebellion off Madison," a story about a young man named Holden Caulfield wandering around NYC contemplating his "pre-war jitters." However, because the story revolved around hesitancies concerning war, it wasn't run until after the war was over.
When he came back from the war, he published a few short stories to some mild critical acclaim.
It wasn't until "The Catcher in the Rye" that Salinger received fame.
It's interesting to note that when he returned from seeing such atrocities, he, unlike many of his fellow soldiers, decided to write about a 16-year-old boy.
Unfortunately, the fame and constant dissection of the novel (probably by annoying English teachers) led him into a state of reclusion.
Probably J.D. Salinger
A blue dot means
that a book was challenged
or banned by a parent, school, library, etc.
Quest narrative: character searches for truth, values, or him/herself
a story within a story
1st person: Story is told by a character within the story from his/her point of view. "I" is used
Narrative: Type of writing with the purpose of telling a story
Confessional: Narrator talks to audience in a truthful & unguarded manner
Unreliable narrator: When the narrators credibility is compromised
Dialogue: Conversations b/w characters or narrator and the audience
Flashback: Narrator refers to or takes audience back to events that have already occurred
Colloquial speech: slang; the way people actually speak
Stream of Consciousness:
When the narrator narrates whatever comes to his/her mind