A Retrospective Look at The Catcher in The Rye

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Rosen, Gerald. “A Retrospective look at the Catcher in the Rye.” American Quarterly, Vol.          29, No. 5, Special Issue: Reassessing Twentieth Century Documents, winter

1977, pp.            547- 562. John Hopkins University press

Gerald Rosen in his article relates the life of Holden to Buddha life. The article narrates the story of Buddha who grew up in a rich environment and was shielded from suffering. But he faced sickness, old age and finally died. He left his shelter that was protective and began his search to find salvation and end suffering. He thus became isolated and separated, but had a true vision, and returned finally to the regular world out of human suffering compassion. This depicts Holden Caulfield’s life, Rosen shows. Holden lived with a family that was wealthy in Manhattan and went to a prep school. He is however alienated from his peers as was done to the Buddha. Neither of them had religion, educational or parental guidance. Holden, later we learn that left school to get answers, and as Buddha did, breaking expectations of the society. Both wanted a connection with people that was deeper in a globe where on the surface everything was only pretty. The topic covered is focused on the main goal of the study on the various aspects of the protagonist Holden who is unable to simplify his troubles fully.

The arguments stated in the article are concise and coherently organized in simple paragraphs which is reasonable for the readers and in academic grounds. Several references used to support the author’s arguments as well as the examples extracted from the comparison between Holden and Buddha indicates that the information in the paper is valid and reliable. Besides, the descriptive approach taken to narrate and analyze the study provides extensive understanding for the audience and help them develop a clear visual impression about the participants. The source is objective focused on key participant and comparing their lifestyle in comparison to Holden.

On the other hand, the study compares with other sources by having significant similarities in the approach taken to study the case of the protagonist. Moreover, this second source is greatly helpful for my study since it highlights the main aspects of focus and provides extensive qualitative data can be utilized in shaping my arguments of research. This source can be used in my research project to develop a critical literature review analyzing the case widely for an extended period. Hence, it has not changed my perspective of thinking about the subject.

Salzberg, Joel, and Duane Edwards. “Holden Caulfield: Don’t Ever Tell Anybody             Anything.” Critical Essays on Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, G.K Hall, Boston,           MA, 1990, pp. 148-156.

In the critical article by Edward and Salzberg (1990) psychoanalyses Holden Caulfield concepts of Freudian of sexual development and repression: it states that the teen is being controlled by his desires that are unconscious, not the values that he has. Many scenes portray unreliability of Holden as a narrator. When he was asked a question by Phoebe about what he likes, Holden cannot answer for being tired and because he cannot concentrate. Holden does not tell a lot concerning his childhood life, which is a characteristic of repression. Holden is quoted to be saying that do not tell anybody anything at the end. Holden refuses to be responsible, and he is uncertain in situations habitually. This shows a sign that is clear of instability mentally.

This source effectively and critically analyses the sexuality of Holden as he is described as being sexually shy and is stifling the feelings of homosexuality. The article shows that the cause of the stifled homosexuality in Holden’s life is the lack of fatherly figure. It is written that Holden does not have in his life a male to identify him sexually. Additionally, the arguments in this article are reasonable since the author provides a clear description of the causality of effects in Holden’s life. The organization of the article is clearly seen to be coherent in terms of paragraph structure and subtopics which helps any reader to understand the statements faster. Moreover, the authors used qualitative data with numerous citations which supports the descriptive study and providing an effective conclusion thus indicating that the source is objective and the information is valid and reliable. This study can be with Rosen (1977) study since they have similarities in the approaches adopted for the study of the subject. The secondary information gathered from this study provides an expanded view of the subject and provides descriptive words which were helpful in enhancing my level of understanding about the topic. This information could shape my arguments in the research project or presentation hence it has slightly changed my thinking about the topic to improved levels.

Privitera, Lisa. “Holden’s Irony in Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.” Explicator, Vol. 66,           no. 4, Summer 2008, pp. 203-206. EBSCOhost

The paper illustrates how an unstereotypical teenager, Holden who thinks to deeper levels which differentiate him from his peers. Holden is also is noted be fighting transition into adulthood with bizarre reaction, extreme emotions, and obsessive lying. The author notes that human connection is what Holden needs most and for the reason that he is pushing away people, he gets the chance to learn more about his friends, himself and his family.

The arguments put forth by the author of this article are reasonable because he illustrates the actual relationships about Holden and Phoebe other than analyzing Holden’s sexuality perspectives. The source can be said to be objective since it involves illustrations and examples aimed at convincing the reader about the aims. Various secondary sources were used to support the article and examples which proves the validity and reliability of the source. Compared to Edward and Salzberg (1990) and Rosen (1977) the approaches for study differs but most of the contents analyses the main subject hence this information can be utilized in my research project is shaping up strong theoretical statements, and it has not changed my thinking about the topic.

November 24, 2023




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