Ellen Foster and The Catcher In The Rye
Ellen Foster by Kayne Gibbons and The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger have some elements that are similar. These elements are used to express the development of Holden and Ellen throughout each novel. One of these elements is characterization. According to Dictionary.com, characterization is the description of qualities or peculiarities. Characterization is mostly used in three ways in each novel; Style of Clothes, Style of Speech, and the Search for a Home. These characterization elements represent the development of Holden Caulfield and Ellen Foster.
The characterization method that is used in each novel is their style of dressing or their outer appearance. The way a person dresses shows the person’s personality, class status, and how a person acts. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield dresses in a very casual way. In the 1950’s many people wore suits everyday but Holden is the “revolutionary” type and dresses very different from the rest. This illustrates that Holden doesn’t really care much about the way of life but only his big ideas. For example, Holden Caulfield always wears his red hunting hat throughout the novel. He also wore it backwards which represents that in a way, he was also backwards. His whole life is messed up, ex) drinking beer, smoking, failing out of schools, hiring hookers, and wandering of with his big exaggeration. In Ellen Foster, Ellen dresses a bit differently. She dresses in other people’s clothes, mostly because of her poverty. This represents Ellen in search for her own identity. She uses other people’s thing because she doesn’t have them herself. When she gives the clothes back, she finally recognizes who she really is. An example would be when she borrows a dress for her mama’s funeral from Dora. These are some ways in which symbols are used in each novel.
The second characterization method that is used to express the development of Holden and Ellen is the style of their speech. The style of speech is the way a person talks in their everyday lives. The way a person talks can show others how literate or...