seniors

The Catcher in the Rye – foreshadowing – The use of forshadowing in a novel can help it’s reader get a sense of what is to come in the story without giving away the events themselves. It is a powerful tool which prevents events from being left unexplained, leaving the reader question the effectivness of an outcome. The eventual breakdown of the character Holden Caufield in J.D. Salinger’s controversial 1945 novel “The Catcher in the Rye” was foreshadowed in the early chapters of the book. The first clue is his negative approach to life. He begins by talking about his “lousy childhood” (p.1) and the first traces of profanity can be seen scattered about the page in the form of “crap”, “hell” and “goddam”. Holden’s first sign of distrust comes when he speaks to Ward Stradlater about his date with Jane Gallagher: “Listen. Give my regards, willya?” “Okay,” Stradlater said, but I knew he probably wouldn’t… “Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row.” “Okay,” Stradlater said, but I knew he wouldn’t. (p.33-34) This is seen again when he doesn’t trust Stradlater to stop his advances of Jane in the case that she says no. Holden gives up his faith in people to trust him when he boards a bus holding a snowball. The driver refuses to believe that Holden won’t throw the snowball so he draws the conclusion that “People never believe you.” (p.37). He is also always placing labels upon people as being “phonies” which gives the reader the idea that Holden thinks that others are materialistic. Holdens attempts to protect the innocence in the world is another early sign of his deteriorating state. When Holden goes to Pheobe’s school to deliver his note he sees some swearing of the wall which he says “drove me damn near crazy” (p.201). He wipes the words from the wall in an attempt to prevent the inevitable from occuring, leading the reader to believe that he may experience some mental unstability in the future. Eventually he comes to the…

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