Adam Canady Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger Pages 1-105 of 210 Reading JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye has been an interesting experience for me. It has opened me up to a whole new world of literary analysis and dynamic contrasting of characters by reading a semi modern novel as opposed to a short story or an epic poem as the I have in the past. Throughout this journal, I will be highlighting certain passages from the first half novel that portray character, theme and conflict. I will conclude with my predictions for the second half of the book, and some questions I have about the first half. Jane Gallagher,” I said. I couldn’t get over it. “Jesus H. Christ” Old Stradlater was putting Vitalis on his hair. My Vitalis. “She’s a dancer,” I said. “Ballet and all. She used to practice about two hours every day, right in the middle of the hottest weather and all. She was worried that it might make her legs lousy – all thick and all. I used to play checkers with her all the time. ” “You used to play what with her all the time? ” “Checkers. ” “Checkers, for Chrissake! ” “Yeah. She wouldn’t move any of her kings. What she’d do, when she’d get a king, she wouldn’t move it. She’d just leave it in the back row.
She’d get them all lined up in the back row. Then she’d never use them. She just liked the way they looked when they were all in the back row. ” Stradlater didn’t say anything. That kind of stuff doesn’t interest him. -Salinger, p. 31 Holden clearly is obsessed with this Jane Gallagher girl and further shows how observant he is of certain things. This helps the reader understand why he is so descriptive about certain things and goes off on tangents so much. JD Salinger also uses Holden’s repetition of his central thoughts to place emphasis on how much Holden really is concerned with Jane nd that he is clearly in a state of nostalgia when describing his old times with her to Stradlater. Salinger characterizes both Holden and Stradlater in this passage by showing how Holden is much more caring, sympathetic and generally a better person with girls than Stradlater is. Stradlater isn’t interested by the fine details with girls and is more concerned with going around and having sex with them. This passage feels important to the story because it lies a framework for the reader’s feelings toward Holden and how he can respect certain women, like Jane, who are smart and do “cute” things.
This framework is the basis for Holden’s interaction with women, of which, there is a lot of. Holden is also the main character and narrator of the story. “Well-take me to the Edmont then,” I said. “Would you care to stop on the way and join me for a cocktail? On me. I’m loaded. ” “Can’t do it, Mac. Sorry. ” He certainly was good company. Terrific personality. -Salinger, p. 60-61 The major conflict in this story seems to be that Holden can’t find someone to spend time with someone. Throughout the first half of the story, Holden asks almost everyone he meets to have a drink with him.
This relates to his want for sex because it’s often girls he asks to have a drink with him, which he sometimes thinks will lead to sex. “I like to be somewhere at least where you can see a few girls around once in a while, even if they’re only scratching their arms or blowing their noses or even just giggling or something. ” -Salinger, p. 3 Themes of sexuality and innocence come up at the same time in Catcher in the Rye. This quote offers a good connection to both because Holden feels that he should be around girls once in a while, but they can be stupid girls that don’t do anything.
Throughout the first half of the story, Holden feels especially reluctant to do anything (as in have sex) with girls. This becomes evident when he hires a prostitute to come and see him so he can “get practice for when he gets married or something. ” Although when the prostitute arrives at his hotel room, he appears to not have the feeling for anything anymore and just wants to talk, showing his innocence and again bringing up his wonderful relationship framework Salinger built him for talking to women.
These themes are seen story wide as it is told by Holden who relates almost everything back to a story that involves a women and eventually sex or “getting some” My prediction for the rest of the book is that Holden will eventually find someone he likes and isn’t completely “phony. ” The reason for this is because he seems to have struck out on a bunch of girls so far and it seems like he needs to just find one that fits the theme of the story (sexuality and innocence).