The Catcher in the Rye: Literary Devices Found on the Novel

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

During the reading of the novel written by J. D. Salinger readers will be able to find a great variety of literary devices. These linguistics resources in the whole novel embellishing the words writers express on their work. Readers can find in “The catcher in the Rye” literary devices such as Metaphor, symbolism, Irony, Hyperbole and others.

Following there is some proves of it; Salinger, James “Then I sat down on his cement bed again. (p. 11)” This Metaphor spells a comparison between the hard bed of Holden’s History professor Spenser and a rock or the pavement. Salinger uses Irony to provide emphasis or humor in a language that signifies the opposite. Here is an example; Salinger, James “You are a price Ackley kid. ” (p. 62). To tell his roommate that he is a spoil child. Salinger performs a hyperbole when Holden exaggerates his hair’s appearance. He said “The one side of my head- the right side- is full of millions of gray hair. ” (p. 9).

To make others things about his maturity. SettingsHolden tells the novel at the ends of 1940s or early 1950s former school, Pencey Prep in Pennsylvania while the plot is developed the story moves to New York City.


Bildungsroman, Realism, Satire

Point of view

The catcher in the Rye is narrated in first person by untrustworthy narrator named Holden Caulfield. He shamelessly warns the readers that he is out of his mind, “I felt like marrying her the minute I saw her. I’m crazy. I didn’t even like her much, and yet all of a sudden I felt like I was in love with her and wanted to marry her. I swear to God I’m crazy. I admit it. ” (p. 124). Throughout the whole story, his opinions and judgments end up in reader’s dispute the preciseness of them due to the fact the Holden is not able to understand himself.

The major conflict

The major conflict is in Holden’s brain. One of his sides would like to connect with adults on an adult environment or level more special when he tries to have sex with a woman. On the other hand; the other side wants to decline does not want to grow up, he would like to be a teenager forever. The rising actionThe rising action takes place throughout the novel when Holden’s attempts to get in touch with other people get his conflicting impulses –To interact with adults or to get retreated by them –into direct conflict.

The climax

The novel reach the climax at the end of Holden’s meeting with his sister, Phoebe Caulfield, he said to her that he is leaving and she answered that she would like to go with him but he denied and took her to the Zoo when he said “no I cannot take you with me” so she became angry. After he tried to call her attention because he did not like her to be mad at him, when it started to rain she asked him if he is taking her back home and if he is going back as well; he said “yes. ”

Falling Action

Ending the novel Holden realized that he started to miss everyone, his classmates, roommates, professors at pencey, even the man from the hotel’s elevator, Maurice.


Relationships sexuality, intimacy, loneliness, lying and deception


Holden Caulfield


Holden hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. In that way he starts to tell the story at the beginning of the novel.


The tone in the novel varies between the disgust, nostalgic longing, bitterness and cynicism in all of the paragraphs, a special characteristic is that all of them are expressed in a colloquial style.


Holden’s red hunting hat has a bunch of meanings. An example of it is his security and individuality. Holden is a lonely guy and is not able to build connection with other around him as a result he uses his hat as a shield. Holden feels unique using the hat as long as it helps him to build a barrier for others not to have a relationship with the society so that he can quickly turn aside the entire onus to the hat if someone shucks off him. There is a special place that Holden use to visit in the story which is The Museum of Natural History. This place acts out the Holden’s wish to stop time and never to grow up. In the Museum everything is show as was in the past all the time and this is what he loves from there.


The most common demonstration of Irony during the novel is Holden attitude. He seems to be the most normal person everywhere he goes however he made a commentary about his way of thinking and craziness. “I felt like marrying her the minute I saw her. I’m crazy. I didn’t even like her much, and yet all of a sudden I felt like I was in love with her and wanted to marry her. I swear to God I’m crazy. I admit it. ” (p. 124).


Occasionally, Holden made a reference and alluded to the bible when Sunny, the prostitute Maurice sent to Holden’s bedroom, left. He began to break down the Jesus’s disciples actions. He cannot stand them because he felt that they were unqualified during Jesus’s life. He said that Jesus would not send Judas to hell however Jesus’s disciples would do it. Holden looks at the world as good as bad, or as right as wrong so that I can comprehend the complexity of his God which is what bible brings to light.

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