Catcher in the Rye- Writing Style Essay

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An author's choice of words can either make or break a good story or character. Holden Caulfield is the main protagonist of the book, The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D Salinger; the book follows the coming of age experience of a rebellious teenager who explores New York after getting kicked out of a prep school. As Holden Caulfield matures throughout the story, it becomes evident that Holden Caulfield is an unreliable narrator due to Salinger's writing style. The three main traits that make Holden unreliable are his sadistic conjectures about life, his self-contradiction and his exaggerations of the truth. Firstly, Holden has a tendency to make negative biased opinions on everything to mask his insecurity which makes him narrate the story unreliably. He considers adults to be "phony," believing they are superficial and ignorant. Holden stated, "He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me. I just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs" (Salinger, 16). In the quote, Holden was talking about how he thought Mr.Ossenburger was a phony because he was rich. He also focuses on the negative points of other people. For example he says, "People are always ruining things for you" (Salinger, 87). At the club, he didn't want to sit with Lillian Simmons and her boyfriend complaining he would be bored so he left blaming them. Holden holds a pessimistic view on life. Holden thinks, "Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it's a game, all right--I'll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hot-shots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game" (Salinger, 8). When he talks to Mr. Spencer it is revealed that he concentrates about the depressing circumstances of life. Therefore, Holden's sadistic

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