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Catcher in the Rye

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Alicia Swartzlander

on 28 May 2014

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Transcript of Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
J.D. Salinger (1919-2010)
Through Holden's perspective, Jane is described as someone who Holden can't get '
' with, because what he treasures about her, in particular, is her innocence. He even mentioned to Stradlater, his roommate, of her '
' stepfather, which could have been the reason behind why he was gentle and caring of her, because he wanted to protect her. She's a good representation of Holden's reason for doing the things that he does and why he considers himself the '


Jane Gallagher
Catcher in the Rye
Throughout the story, Holden's most famous characterization of the ones around him is normally based on labeling them as a phony. Although his evaluations of others are not entirely inaccurate, considering that he does meet quite a few superficial and ostentatious people throughout the story, he never really takes the time to evaluate his own self. He uses isolation as a form of protection, believing that if he separates himself from those who he thinks are a phony, he can not be grouped with them as easily. However, Holden cannot so easily adhere to his own standards in which he uses to judge others .

The Phoniness of Adolescence and the use of Isolation as Protection
1. "
I certainly began to feel like a prize horse's ass, though, sitting there all by myself. There wasn't anything to do except smoke and drink
." (86)
Salinger uses this metaphor to express Holden's feelings of loneliness because all he ever really wanted, throughout the story, was innocent companionship, yet those around him were so out of touch with his expectations and so he chooses isolation as an escape, but feels an emptiness.
Literary Devices
Alicia Swartzlander
When Salinger was young he flunked out of McBurney School near his home in New York and as a result his parents sent him to Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania.
Salinger's college professor, Whit Burnett, pushed him to write and create more works, which started to make appearances in big publications.
During his military service, Salinger continued to write his work,
Catcher in the Rye.
Catcher in the Rye is about a young teenager, Holden Caulfield, who experiences the difficulties of emotions, such as loneliness and depression from the loss of innocence. Holden begins his story at his current school, Pencey Prep, where he is getting kicked out for failing four of his classes. He has no real attachment to the school, mainly due to to the fact that no one can fill the void where he is longing for companionship, so he decides to leave early and spends his time wandering the streets of New York.
Reason Behind Title:
The title is originally based off the misinterpretation of the poem,
Comin' Thro' the Rye
, by Robert Burns, when Holden was walking through the streets and hears a little boy who mistakenly substitutes the lyrics as "
If a body catch a body coming through the rye
." Holden takes this line literally and interprets it as a cliff of rye where kids come to wander; in a sense, Catcher in the Rye is used as a metaphor in which the field of rye represents innocence and childhood, whereas the edge of the cliff represents adolescence and adulthood, and he is depicted as the catcher who waits in the rye to protect the children who wander into the fields, and prevent them from jumping off the cliff because he sees innocence as something real compared to the world of phoneys.
2. Another literary device would be the title,
Catcher in the Rye
, itself. The title is an allusion to the old poem
Comin' Thro' the Rye,
by Robert Burns, and the reason why this book is titled
Catcher in Rye
is strictly because it ties down to the overall theme of the story.
3. "
Maybe that's why I'm partly yellow. It's no excuse, though. It really isn't. What you should be is not yellow.
" (89)
This hyperbole is most likely used to represent the irony of Holden's character. Yellow is an informal term to say '
', however it's a bit ironic to use, if you consider the fact that Yellow is a color that represents cheerfulness, joy, and energy, which is the exact opposite of what Holden is; Throughout the story, Holden mentions his loneliness and depression, and how much he absolutely hates phonies, so it's contradicting to think of yellow as cowardly.
4. "
The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was
." (121)
The museum, which is mentioned in chapter 16, is a great symbol of what Holden wishes for: if the world could remain unchanged. He mentions how troubling it is for him to come back to that museum and realize he's changed, yet again. The museum symbolizes Holden's Catcher in the Rye fantasy world, where things are infinite and unchanging and everyone keeps their innocence.
5. The story is a good example of literary devices, mainly due to the fact that there are various similarities between J.D. Salinger's life and Holden Caulfield's life. This book is a form of autobiography because it tells the reader a lot about Salinger himself, through the use of Holden.
Dog Poop

Holden's dog poop, or
, heavily revolves around self vs society. This is his problem because his struggle solely relies on how he manages his own innocence vs the world of phonies. His fight with society often leaves him in isolation, having only Phoebe, Jane Gallagher, and his deceased brother, Allie, to relate to, because he sees the world as manipulative phonies.

I put my red hunting hat on, and turned the peak around to the back, the way I liked it, and then I yelled at the top of my goddamn voice, 'Sleep tight, ya morons!
' " (52)

This is an important scene that represents his conflict because his red hunting hat is a symbol of his isolation. In this scene, Holden decides that he will leave Pencey Prep early to escape the troubles he had with the people he knew there, and his own loneliness. Throughout the book, Holden uses his hat as a means of escape from reality, to hide his true self and his insecurities.

The Ducks at the Lagoon
The ducks who struggle with migration and making do with an inhospitable environment strongly resembles Holden's situation. Their constant migration away from the pond, during the winter, and returning as soon as the winter ends, represents vanishing as only temporary. The pond that continuously freezes and unfreezes is merely a metaphor, where it symbolizes childhood and adulthood that Holden struggle with. The ducks and the lagoon itself symbolizes what Holden is most afraid of: change and disappearance.
"Little Shirley Beans" Record
This record represents Holden's childhood and innocence, because these are the two things he does not want to let go, yet he is being pulled into doing so. So even though Holden tries to keep the record safe, as he is walking through Central Park, he drops it, causing it to shatter. This can be interpreted as no matter how hard Holden tries to hold on to his innocence, it has already been shattered.
Favorite Scene
C'mon let's get out of here,' I said. 'You give me a royal pain in the ass, if you want to know the truth
.'" (133)

After Holden asks Sally Hayes to run away with him, with all his honest feelings, he is rejected by her, who he has never really liked, and he says this to her, revealing his true thoughts about her in the process. This is my favorite scene because throughout the story we never see Holden truthfully act on his feelings or say what he is thinking, but after finally being himself and real with someone, then being rejected, he really doesn't like it and ends up saying what he thought about Sally from the beginning.
Statement of Value
From reading
Catcher in the Rye
, I actually feel a relation to Holden's character. I, just like Holden, have once chosen isolation as a form of protection from being hurt. Relating to the theme of isolation, I saw it as an escape, just as Holden did, but it's also what makes you feel like your alone and have nothing to really live for. Holden, however, found his reason for living, that being innocence, which was what filled that emptiness he felt in the world of masked faces, or phonies.
Mixed Tape
1. "Youth" by Daughter (http://youtu.be/VEpMj-tqixs)
2. "Born Singer" by BTS (http://youtu.be/m4zPOTkSFxQ)
3. "The New National Anthem" by Pierce the Veil (http://youtu.be/q4eZYwA5rS0)
4. "Disasterology" by Pierce the Veil (http://youtu.be/kJU62akvmVA)
5. "Two Roads" by Cam Meekins (http://youtu.be/MfXbRr4C_2k)
6. "Marigold" by Gumi (http://youtu.be/cyp4kgIiC0c)
7. "If You Can't Hang" by Sleeping with Sirens (http://youtu.be/cyp4kgIiC0c)
8. "Moonlight" by EXO (http://youtu.be/GqMOMp_FLIc)
9. "Drop in the Ocean" by Ron Pope (http://youtu.be/mt8jifKlbTc)
10. "Setting up Sunday" by Meg and Dia (http://youtu.be/gaIIyruhXtk)
Dear Holden,

I really think you would enjoy the mix tape I have made for you, due to the fact that these particular songs, you can relate to mentally and emotionally. The top 5 tracks I would like you to focus on are track one, track four, track five, track seven, and track ten.
Track one, "Youth" by Daughter, is about the pain of growing up. This song shows some relation with Holden's self versus society, and also the innocence he has lost --
his innocence being Allie
. The lyrics of this song pertain to the loss of a loved one from a reckless youth. The words are much like a scream of pain, directed towards adults, that it is wrong to think that kids do not have something to worry about. The words strongly oppose a carefree youth due to the fact it causes great loss. Holden can relate to this song because, without realizing it, he opposes a carefree youth. Claiming that he wants to be the Catcher in the Rye to stop the carefree children from jumping off the cliff into adolescence, and to prevent the loss of innocence, he opposes the carefree youth.
Track number four, "Disasterology" by Pierce the Veil, has many interpretations, however I feel there is only one interpretation that Holden can actually connect to; this song is about self harm and how it can destroy something beautiful. Holden has never self-harmed himself in the book, however he has always put himself in situations where he is harmed by someone else to feel something because he feels he lost what was most important to him --
. I think what Holden doesn't realize is that he still does have innocence, much like a kid. He has this fear of growing up and to escape the growth, he destroys himself in the process. In life, growing up has always been depicted as something beautiful, yet Holden wants to completely destroy it and that's why I think he can really relate to this song. It's another self versus society.
Track number five, "Two Roads" by Cam Meekins, is an allusion to the poem
Two Roads
, by Robert Frost. The lyrics focus on two roads and that before he could take a step down the road he would choose, he couldn't see the end and aside from choosing the path most people take, he chose the path less taken. These paths represent the choices made in life to achieve your future. Will you take
path or
path? This is what Holden struggles with, he's not sure exactly where he is going, but he continues to move along. This can relate to Holden's curiosity of where the ducks go when the lagoon freezes, because he doesn't know where the ducks go and he's constantly asking about them, and yet he is like those ducks. He does not know where he is going in the future.
Track seven, "
If You Can't Hang
" by Sleeping with Sirens, has lyrics that can heavily relate to Holden's loneliness. The lyrics constantly say, "If you can't hang, then there's the door," which can explain Holden's use of isolation. If he can't stand someone, he's usually the one to leave. He's not well when it comes to dealing with his own problems, so as his solution, he'll run away from them.
Track ten,
Setting Up Sunday
by Meg and Dia, is claimed to be an allusion to
Catcher in the Rye
. This song continuously mentions the theme of loneliness and addresses the worry of when a child says that they don't need you anymore. Just like Holden who is always anxious, but ends up feeling lonely inside, because he's always worried about the young minds who are constantly portrayed as innocent youth in a world of phonies. Holden, who doesn't want to lose the children to adolescence and constantly worries for them, never realizes he's even worried for himself and chooses to believe it's not about him.
Full transcript