Catcher In The Rye Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Improved Essays
Through the iconic voice of Holden Caulfield, an estranged adolescent, one hears a cry for help emerge from the clouds of depression so effortlessly that nearly everyone, regardless of background, relates. As evident within J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, and particularly during chapter 20, Salinger utilizes casual diction, relatable syntax, and a symbolic setting to convey Holden’s great dejection and introspection about death itself. With such a strong rhetorical technique as this, Salinger appeals to the empathy of the audience and creates a nearly universal cult-following for Holden. Although undeservingly idealized, Holden’s struggle to find meaning and happiness in this passage suggests a greater, underlying aspect throughout …show more content…
Each sentence of Holden’s flows together extremely well, as one can almost hear the unsure adolescent speak of his troubles in a sincere, clear voice. In addition, terms such as “and all” at the ends of sentences and “anyways” at the beginnings exhibit a powerful use of filler words and phrases commonly associated with teenage rhetoric (170, 171). A sling of run-on sentences serve the same purpose; these elements combat the usual formality associated with autobiographies and convey a more authentic reality of a disturbed, teenage boy’s internal thinking. On another note, Salinger commonly uses dashes as opposed to commas for emphasis and interjecting yet clarifying clauses in description, a conscious choice illustrating the disjointed reality of Holden’s storytelling. At one point, Holden strays from the normality of autobiography by directly acknowledging the audience, stating that “if you’d known [Allie], you’d know what [Holden means]” when he proclaims that he wishes Allie were not in the cemetery. Unconventional for a formal work of writing, Salinger strengthens his already emotionally-charged literature with punctuation and sentence structures reflecting not conventional grammatical structure, but rather the true rhetoric of Holden …show more content…
When he first drunkenly tumbles into its vicinity, he claims to “know Central Park like the back of [his] hand, because [he] used to roller-skate there all the time and ride [his] bike when [he] was a kid,” but fearfully wanders around attempting unproductively to find the lagoon (170). Since Holden associated this park so greatly with his innocence and childhood happiness, seeing the icy location without the eyes of sobriety could be associated with the death of his virtue and therefore caused him to think of death in general. Most likely the location contains many beautiful memories with Allie, his late but idealized brother, which causes Holden to reminisce on the lost events they once cherished and therefore to recall the funeral and cemetery. Holden cannot stand the cemetery, for he could not comprehend the act of leaving someone behind when he has the privilege of exiting, claiming that “I know it’s only his body and all that’s in the cemetery,... but I couldn’t stand it anyway” (172). Since introspective passages often occurs throughout the novel, one cannot be surprised to find that Holden, physically, is located at one setting, the park, but mentally wanders from place to place, particularly the cemetery. Because of this overwhelming rumination, Holden cannot stand to remain

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Throughout the book, Holdens tries to make himself happy with temporary things like women and alcohol. Holden actually needs someone constant in his life to love and guide him in the right direction. Holden quoted, “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.…

    • 1526 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    To accomplish the feat of criticizing a well-liked book without invoking an indignant reaction, Mencken uses rhetorical strategies to convince the reader of the flaws of the novel. Keeping in theme with the extravagance seen in The Great Gatsby, Mencken uses a similar strategy that Fitzgerald used throughout the novel. While describing the plot of the book, Mencken writes that “the garage…

    • 790 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    It faced --- of seemed to face –the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.” In the introduction of the Protagonist from our narrators. Nick uses his emotional views to show the readers what he felt while the pre-introduction to Mr. Gatsby. Not only does the quote connect to the novel as a whole, it’s influencing the way we the readers see Jay. In my opinion, I believe the author include this quote to show the readers how Nick was able to become comfortable with Jay over a short period of time. The quotation was especially noteworthy because it connect with the characterization of our main character.…

    • 1152 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He remembers his childhood as being isolated, but full of deep, distracting thoughts. He remembers that he had a unique ability to say things that others could not: “I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday life.” (Orwell). Orwell’s isolation was comforting to him because he knew he had a calling. I have known kids like this, and thought that they seem happy being isolated. They are usually pretty smart, and they are usually called nerds.…

    • 915 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    As Hsiao gradually incorporated infants as near to most hearts, Harari used harsh weightful words to gain the reader's attention and allow them to continue indulging in his article. Comparable to the theme noticed throughout Hsiao’s work he too organized his piece in an impeccable way to make the paper easy to comprehend and understand the exact point he was arguing throughout. Contrary to this Harari again reaps the downfall when compared to Hsiao’s work. When assessing the pieces together both would be valuable to the drafting of an argumentative essay on whether or not Industrial Farming is or is not ethical and what proof can be found to back that claim up. Harari shows emotion through his dark piece about what he believes is the worst crime in history, and Hsiao intertwines scholarly information and elegance to ensure the reader that no harm is done by Factory Farms but rather we receive benefits from them.…

    • 1737 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Poe’s usage of literacy devices such as symbolism and point of view bring the story to life enhancing the madness the narrator portrays along with the dramatic effects. Throughout the story, the narrator is concisely claiming that he is not a madman, but that many perceive him to be. “Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded-with what caution…” (p.92).…

    • 1490 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Gatsby frequently has hundreds of people at his house for parties, but it is often remarked that they know nothing about him, nor do they care to. Gatsby 's isolation is exemplified when you reach the end of the novel. His funeral is attended by Nick, his father, the priest, and the library man. Even after Nick personally informed…

    • 1008 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    1.) During the introduction of the story, Holden 's tone is sarcastic and foreshadows the use of tone to be implemented throughout the rest of the story. When Holden introduced his parents, he stated, "but they 're also touchy as hell. Besides, I 'm not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything" (3). Salinger uses word choice and common slang to exhibit the mood of Holden Caulfield.…

    • 1121 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    My brothers and cousin would team up against each other and somehow my car was the one that was pinned. Next we went on the ferris wheel which in all honesty was fun until my cousin got the most brilliant idea to start pushing the seat side to side. After the ferris wheel, I ended up going on the scrambler with my older brother because earlier I told him we could go. I had no idea what to expect and when the scrambler started to move I ended up closing my eyes so I wouldn’t get dizzy. Closing my eyes helped and it made me think that I was on a bike ride going up and down hills.…

    • 885 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Symbolism in The Catcher in the Rye Like all great pieces of literature, J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye owes much of its fame to its ability to connect with the reader’s emotions. “Holden’s discontents and diatribes are infectious because we all have our irascibility and fastidiousness, and Salinger has managed to play on us by summoning up the perfect details” (Castronovo). The troubled teen story of Holden Caulfield depicts a young man unable to face his own reality. A struggle, many can relate to. Since the character isn’t able to come to terms with his feelings, Salinger uses symbols like colors, rain, and places of significance to display the emotions and values of Holden Caulfield.…

    • 1267 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays