Setting and Chracterization in the "Catcher In The Rye"

Essay by SchfiftyfivHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2006

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Jerome David Salinger was born January 1, 1919 in New York City. At age 11, he was voted "most popular actor" at Camp Wigwam in Harrison, Maine. Salinger's parents decided to offer him the opportunity to be enrolled into a private school, just like his character, Holden Caulfield. Before and even after J.D. Salinger was famous for his works, they were both sort of social outcasts (Pinsker xiii). He " was not working for a degree, didn't care about course credit, and was considered a loner" (Hamilton 43). His molded personality of his past became a part of his writing; the style is the one Salinger is most noted for, where "J.D. Salinger pits his characters against a world that insists that they compromise, learn to adjust, or simply "grow up"" (Pinsker xiii). The Catcher in the Rye was banned from many school reading lists due to uncivilized behavior, poor role modeling, and a variety of expletives.

Through the use of characterization, morality, and setting, J.D. Salinger constructs one of the most well known American classics of our time. In "The Catcher in the Rye", he deals with issues such as the loss of innocence and moral dilemmas that one must face when growing up.

Holden is a very strange and peculiar character. He has an odd personality in many different senses. He is rather confrontational, but he never stands behind himself. Although the character Holden Caulfield was acclaimed as "one of the most well-rounded and affecting views of a 16-year old" (Pinsker 16), he is skinny, weak, he smokes, drinks, lies, cusses, and he has some very crude humor. This makes Holden a very realistic character, and makes his journey into adulthood seem more authentic. He doesn't hold back, and when he feels the need, he goes about...