The Catcher in the Rye Mariah Robichaud, Nick Diggle, Sarah Sehl, Brynn Hailey, and Alexia Hawkey-Noble MLA Citation • Strauch, Carl F. “On the Complexity of Holden’s Character”. Catcher in the Rye: Bloom’s Guide (2006): 43-47. Print. The Rhetorical¹ Situation Strauch wrote this essay to analyze and prove the complexity of the character Holden Caulfield, as one of innocence and diversity, in J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye. The essay is directed towards the scholars (already familiar with the subject of psychology) and audience of the novel The Catcher in the Rye and. Purpose Strauch’s essay was written to inform the readers of the complexity, of and behind, the character Holden as The Catcher. It covered varying ideas that Holden was both innocent (immature, a child) and hypocritical (verging on adulthood), as it proved he was just as phony as the society that he judged, often committing the same phony acts. This was done by showing the background information that Salinger used to create Holden as a character. - One could also say that this essay was written to persuade the audience of The Catcher in the Rye, of Holden’s innocence and complexity. This was done through the constant examples given directly from the novel. Author’s Message The author uses great detail, quotes and comparisons to demonstrate that Holden is a character leading two lives(complexity). The life society has brought down on him and the psychological life that is secret but is moral and literate. The quote that best conveys Carl Strauch’s message is “But the psychological intent becomes symbolical portent when we see that the mass idiom emphasizes a significant distinction between two worlds – the phony corrupt materialism and Holden’s private world of innocence which, in its corporate love, embraces a secret goldfish… (head)”. “The irony is profounder than that because the meaning is profounder: a Holden who has accepted both the mood and the act of responsibility with Phoebe does not require psychoanalytic therapy, for he has miraculously wrought his own cure and has thus spiritually escaped the social rigidities that would be imposed upon him.”(43) – this excerpt represents Holden`s complexity as it outlines, from the novel, that Holden does not need psychoanalytic therapy (though he receives it anyway) as he clearly finds his own answers and response for the oppressed culture around him. Holden does so by creating his own secret world, in contrast to Phoebe who is entirely unaware and innocent. Evidence “The slob Holden is more prominent, but the literate Holden is more intrinsic, for like Isak Dinesn he can use language to express sensitive insights and human joys”. “For his private world Holden uses a literate and expressive English, and so the profounder psychological and symbolical purposes of slob language may be detected only as idiom functions in polarized relationship with the other” “The… Holden employs slob language for a public world that is varyingly indifferent and cruel and usually phony and literate speech for his private world emerges beautifully... irritated about it”. “The Catcher lies in an awareness of the dualism or ambivalence of language, for Holden employs both the slob and the literate idiom”. “We may thus perceive that Salinger has employed neurotic deterioration, symbolic death, spiritual awakening, and psychological self-cure as the inspiration and burden of an elaborate patter—verbal, thematic, and episodic, that yields the meaning as a discursive examination of Holden’s character and problem out of metaphoric context can never do.” (43) – Saying what creates the complexity of Holden. - “Recognition of the truth would embrace the love and compassion that it has not time for but that Holden himself lavishes on his secret world but extends to the public world in episodes and reflections rounded off with a minor verbal pattern…” (46) – Strauch shows the audience the phoniness of Holden. - “The literary Salinger has, of course, created a literate and even literary artistic Holden, capable of acute aesthetic as well as moral judgments.” (44) – This shows the hypocrisy of Holden. “As a start, the readiest way of understanding The Catcher lies in an awareness of the dualism or ambivalence of language, for Holden employs both the slob and the literate idiom.” (43-44) – By talking in improper slang and sometimes inappropriate language, Holden tries to be a part of what he calls phony, by doing so, connecting him to society and not being alone. Holden also represents a young and unintelligent boy as he would like to be perceived. However, whilst explaining his story in the narrative form instead of his corrupt dialogue, Holden shows that he in fact is quite intelligent, reading books such as The Great Gatsby. Strauch also says this when he writes, “He thus may justify himself in his overt being and may hope to secure immunity from attack and rationalize his ‘belonging’; slob language, therefore, hits off two important social themes—security and status.” (44) Tone - The authors tone in this critical of the Holden character is complimentary, authoritative and optimistic as Strauch loved the many layers Salinger placed on the character Holden. - It is also informative (straight-forward) and persuasive as he reflects on Holden’s character, informing the reader in a stately matter and he furthermore tries to persuade the audience of Holden’s complexity. - - He uses a higher, more intelligent level of language to do so, often going into great detail. Language and Style (Genre) • This is an informative essay. Strauch uses many language features such as sentence structure, irony, italicized and quoted words, dashes, parentheses and allusions to create the informative. • Strauch’s sentence structure is quite often long with very few pauses. He does use a sentence structure that is mostly parallel, and there are a few colloquial phrases. “the most casual manner” (46), “to the very core” (43) • Irony is used to emphasize a certain remark. This is shown when Strauch says that Holden uses slob language but is an intellect. • By using italicized words and phrases, Staruch is able to stress his point well. “The Catcher” (45, 46, 47) – represents Holden and his want to be The Catcher. “confidante” (45). • He uses quotes from the novel as his evidence to support the points of his thesis. • Dashes are used by Staruch to create a momentary dramatic pause in a rather long sentence or are used as semi-colon, to separate two different but related thoughts. For example, “…therefore, hits off two important social themes—security and status.” (44) • Strauch also uses parentheses to insert his own unique ideas. “(all children, in fact)” (44), “(italics mine)” (45) and “(or cared to see)” (46) are all examples of this. • Allusions are used just as quotes, to prove contextual support for his thesis. Such as when he alludes to places in New York, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and David Copperfield. Diction: The vocabulary of Carl F. Strauch is mind blowing and complicated in this article. This author breaks through the common diction and leads the reader through a maze of words. Some of his most complex words are Rousseauistic, neurotic, thematic, episodic, dualism, idiom, psychoanalytic and interpolations. He uses these words to match and compare to the ambivalent language used in The Catcher in the Rye. Organization The ideas shown in the essay are introduced up front, and explained throughout the piece, making them more solid. The essay keeps the main message through the entirety of it, never branching off on a tangent. The essay starts off with an unusual introduction, which goes straight into the complexity of Holden`s character, leading into a paragraph that explains his thesis without clearly stating the points on which to elaborate. The body consists of an explanation of the unstated points of the thesis. Paragraphs are long like the sentences contained within them. Each paragraph is adequately linked by a small and unnoticeable transition. The conclusion is fairly short in contrast to the rest of the essay and its paragraphs. The essay is fluent, with very few spots that do not connect or runon sentences. The essay was unclear at times; however it was kept mostly concise. Our Opinion - We quite enjoyed this essay. It gave us a deeper understanding of Holden`s character and it made us think of our own opinions about him, whereas the book did not. It was intriguing but hard to read at times, as it seemed to be directed at an audience that we were not really apart of. - Strauch does a very accurate critic and really shows things that the common reader could miss. He back ups his ideas with proof and is confident with all the symbolism. His critic gives me a new outlook on the book and allows me to pay attention to the details as Strauch did so well.