F. D. Salinger 's The Catcher Of The Rye, And Particularly During Chapter 20

1049 Words Mar 14th, 2016 5 Pages
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 the novel.
At times, Holden conveys conventionally beautiful events and objects as so atrocious and unappealing that one begins to find his cynicalness entrancing. Rather than conveying the snow-covered Central Park as a wondrous sight, he claims that the park “kept getting darker and darker and spookier and spookier” the farther he walked (Salinger 170). Not only does this starkly contrasts his previously construed notion of a childhood sanctuary within this park, but it also contradicts the usual accounts of this place. Likewise, once Holden begins to reflect on his eminent death, he starts “picturing millions of jerks coming to [his] funeral and all,” even going so far as to imagine “all [his] lousy cousins” showing up (171). Most…

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