9 January 2013

My journal for THE CATCHER IN THE RYE ( from my drama class)



  • While I was reading the book, I thought it was just related to a boy’s foolish thoughts.  Also, I was not used to see these kinds of slang words in the novel.  For example, at the beginning of the novel, Holden used the word of “goddam” or “phony”.  It was weird.  However, I appreciated the author because so few people can dare to write the events so naturally and clearly.  When I started to think and see the life of Holden, using slang words did not seem so weird.  Especially boys in those ages use this kind of language.  I felt what Holden told to us was true.  However, this feeling turned to complexity for me in chapter 8.  That is, he lied a lot to the people.  For example, he lied about his name and life of Ernest to Ernest’s mother in chapter 8.  Then, lies came in an order.  Therefore, now I believe Holden was contradictory.


  • After the drama analysis lesson, novel analysis seemed to me a bit hard.  It is not just because of novels’ length, also because of characters.  The first novel, which was The Catcher in the Rye, has many characters in each chapter beside of the hero, Holden.  Even in the first chapter, I met Old Selma Thurmer, Old Spencer, D.B., his parents, Robert Tichener, Paul Campbell, Mr. Zambesi etc… All of them were not main characters.  To look from the good side, there was also so detailed information that I could visualize easily what Holden wrote.  For example, in chapter 11, he told something about Jane.  It was: “When he did, I asked Jane what the hell was going on.  She wouldn't answer me, then… Then all of a sudden, this tear plopped down on the check board.”  I imagined this scene like a movie scene.  Therefore, I thought that this book should be a movie.


  • In chapter 9, Holden wanted to call someone.  This situation, which was an attempt to call someone to talk, appeared in other chapters, too.  For example, he said “… as soon as I was inside, I could not think of anybody to call up.”  In chapter 15, he again wanted to call someone, but it was Jane.  However, he called Sally.  I felt that Holden wanted to fill his times with somebody.  He did not want to be alone.  Maybe, he was afraid of loneliness.  Therefore, he felt himself in the need of some other people.


  •    I was wondering what Holden felt after getting kicked out from the school and while going to New York.  I thought, he had no goal in his mind for his education life and his future life.  Therefore, he might have thought the feeling of being independent. In chapter 1, he went to his history teacher’s home.  He took his own decisions there.  In addition, he went to New York because he did not want to be or feel like adults although it was impossible.  He criticized the adults all the time.


  • I love Holden as a teenager because I thought my teenage years and I was a bit like Holden.  He was rebellious against adults, his parents and his brother D.B.  I was like him, too.  Salinger showed the features of teenagers very well in the novel.  Years ago, we thought as teenagers, adults could not be able to understand us and their speeches about our future were like a fish story.  Moreover, Holden thought Spencer did not listen to him and Holden dreamed another thing while Spencer was talking to him in chapter 2.  These are the perfect examples of teenagers.


  • I found Holden’s thoughts about adults out of balance.  He said he was the most terrific liar in chapter 3; however, he blamed adults to be phony and liar.  This showed he was also at the edge of being an adult.  He always saw bad sides of being an adult.  For example, Stradlater was a womanizer and his brother D.B. left them.  These kinds of behaviors wounded on Holden.


  • In the class, we discussed if Holden was talking to a psychologist or somebody else.  I thought he was talking to us.  For example, when I wrote some events on my diary, I used words like I was talking to the diary.  I personalized it.  Therefore, Holden might have seen the readers of the book like his psychologist or someone who listen to him all the time.  Holden said in chapter 1: “Don’t even mention to me.” and “If you really want to hear about it…”  These kinds of sentences can be used in diaries, too.  We do not write all we have done for each day.  We write just important days.  Holden’s adventures after kicking out from the school would be important for him, so he did not mention about his parents.


  • It was very interesting that Holden used slang words even for the girls except nuns.  He mentioned about nuns as innocent people.  For example, in chapter 17, Holden said to Sally that “You give me a royal pain in the ass, if you want to know the truth.”  These were very bad words for a girl.  In contrast, he was careful with his language with the nuns. He did not want to talk to them about Romeo and Juliet because the play had some sexy parts.

  • I recognized that Holden was sometimes a dreamer.  In contrast, Sally was more realistic.  On page 71, Holden said “How would you like to get the hell out of here?  ...  We’ll stay in these cabin camps and stuff like that till the dough runs out…”  Sally objected to him: “We are both practically children.  And did you ever stop to think what you’d do if you didn’t get a job when your money ran out?  ...”  Despite of Sally’s realistic point of view, I liked Holden’s thoughts.  They were full of honesty and related to the nature; however, his decisions about whatever he wanted to do in a minute were a bit lunacy.  Maybe, this was because of his youthfulness.


  • I wondered why Holden collected broken pieces of the record in chapter 20.  Normally, when something is broken into pieces, we do not take it.  My thoughts about Holden were changing in each chapter I read.  Now, I thought Holden was an unusual character because he gave an importance to the things which other people did not pay attention.  This record may be the symbol of teenagers like the ducks.  No one cared teenagers who were very fragile at these ages. Because of this, pieces of the record were not nonsense for Holden.  He paid his attention to the pieces unlike adults.


  • In the class, we discussed about the color of Holden’s hat.  It was red and the symbol of security and like his sister’s hair.  After I heard and notice these symbols in the class, I remembered that red color have some places in the novel.  In chapter 11, Holden told us about Jane and her past.  Jane was important for him.  When she cried, he kissed her whole face except her mouth.  In addition, Jane’s tears dropped on the red square while they were playing the game.  The other one was that Jane was wearing red and white sweater.  As a color of red, it might have this kind of importance for Holden.  Maybe, he remembered Jane.