Examples Of Unreliable Narrator In Catcher In The Rye

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In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger uses unreliable narration, repetition of key motifs, and aside to encapsulate Holden’s sacrificing modus operandi. Holden obscures his true intentions with unreliable narration which colours his desire to hold onto anything he can, even to the point where he will not recall his memories. The motifs of death and ‘phoniness’ in his narration which defines the lens through which he views the world. Holden’s asides create the office of a higher moral authority within him that alludes to his noble quest, that of defending children from the harsh adult world.

Holden is an unreliable narrator, hiding crucial information which Salinger uses to keep the reader unaware of Holden’s true intention thus exhibiting
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His fixation on death generalises to a fixation on the mutability of time and his fixation on phoniness is an effect of his desire for the natural order as opposed to what he sees as the stilted, artificial, and deeply damaging societal expectations of the world. His greatest wish is to preserve the beauty that is rather than to see what could be. This is evident in how he cannot disturb the perfect scene of the fleeting snow cover when he leaves Pencey. A more evident and tangible example is his justification as to why the museum is his favourite place. He sees these displays of honest life, of the archetypal peaceful native ice fishing, and of the natural beauty of the wild preserved in a glass case, and is deeply disturbed when he sees profane language scarred into the displays. Holden rejects the life he must take, holding nothing but contempt for the trappings of society and the expectations to which he is held up. However, he seems to reject the fundamental quality that distinguishes life from the inanimate: change. The people he admire and with whom he enjoys spending time are those who are still pure. He comforts Jane, his friend from years ago. However, most importantly he maintains his brother Allie’s young spirit within his

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