Catcher In The Rye And For Esm

1306 words - 5 pages

There have been many great authors to this date in history, as we know it. In my lifetime, J D Salinger is one of the most famous and powerful authors I read. "J D Salinger, one of the world's most influential and reclusive authors…" (Brooks Richard, The Sunday Times pg 3) states Richard Brooks from "The Sunday Times". One of Salinger's greatest achievements was the novel "The Catcher in the Rye". I heard about he novel in numerous occasions. It was even mentioned in films such as "Conspiracy Theory" in which Mel Gibson plays a "disturbed" man who has to buy a copy of "The Catcher in the Rye" whenever he sees one or has the thought about the novel. He had a bookshelf filled with the novel. It seemed like I was the only one that did not read this classic. So I went to the library and they were all on loan so I bought one. After finishing the novel, which was great, I decided to read another piece of Salinger's work to see how Salinger's writing style would compare to "The Catcher in the Rye". I picked up a book called "Nine Stories", which had, as the title read, nine different short stories. I found myself reading a story called "For Esme - with love and squalor". After completing the story, I discovered that the two stories had a lot in common with each other. It was mainly because of Salinger's narrative style and other writing technique's he uses in these two great stories. Both of these stories are in first person point of view but "The Catcher in the Rye" is in subjective narration. Holden Caulfield is a teenager who sees the world as an evil and corrupted place where there is no peace. "That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write "F*** you" right under your nose" (Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye). Salinger uses the innocence of Holden Caulfield's view of the world for the subject narration. Salinger cleverly reverses this effect in "For Esme - with love and squalor". He uses the point of view of a young adult to interact with the young girl, Esme. The results in the reader receiving the thoughts of Esme through there dialogue with the narrator. Therefore, the reader can understand the view of society on young intelligent minds. For example, the narrator talks about Esme. "It wasn't an observation of a smart aleck but that of a truth-lover of a statistics-lover" (Narrator, For Esme - with love and squalor). This observation shows us how the adult is actually admiring Esme's thoughts. In "The Catcher in the Rye", the reader cannot get a sense of what society thinks of Holden. What struck me was Salinger's fascination with intelligent children. Esme is a young girl who is highly intelligent. You can see this by her conversation with the adult. The adult told Esme that he was in England for health reasons, while the fact was that he was there for a special secret...

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