How to Read Lit Like a Professor

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My first reading choice this summer was The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. I found many connections and examples of aspects from Thomas C. Forester’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor and I’ve chosen the ones that stand out to me and give the most proof throughout the novel. In the tenth chapter, “It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow,” of How to Read Lit, Forester explains how there is always a reason the author included certain weather in the the setting of a novel and that it has an underlying meaning. Snow is known to symbolize challenges and unhappiness but can also can symbolize death, loneliness, or depression. The main character in The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, is a very cynical teenageer who has had traumatizing events happen in his life that have caused him to debate connecting with other humans on an adult level or rejecting that thought entirely and categorizing the world as phony, all while trying to relive his childhood. The story starts out in December in New York City, where it is snowy. The snow helps the reader identify that Holden is dealing with the challenges of his life after being kicked out of school. The snow could also symbolize the loneliness Holden feels while he shuts people out throughout the book. Yet another chapter in How to Read Literature Like a Professor, that I could relate to this novel was “Flights of Fancy.” Freedom and escape is often known to be symbolized by something physically flying within a story. Flying also can symbolize returning home or returning to our roots. In this particular novel, ducks are what are flying. At one point, Holden asks his cab driver where the birds go during the winter and the driver replies that they fly away from the cold. He says that that is their problem. This is supposed to signify to the reader that Holden is like the ducks in the way that he “flys” or runs away from
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