IRJE: Feb. 1 (The Catcher in the Rye)

In The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, the narrator speaks very informally, in a stream-of-conscience type of way. This causes the text to sound almost like the narrator, Holden, is speaking to you, instead of writing. This is exemplified in every part of the text, one example though is when Holden is telling a story about his past.

We were going to take our lunches and all, and our BB guns– we were kids and all, and we thought we could shoot something with our BB guns (p. 110).

Writing wise, Salinger accomplishes something very impressive by giving Holden such a realistic voice. However, I simply dislike reading this book because of it. In my opinion, the repetitiveness is inelegant and annoying. I enjoy reading books that have new, interesting vocabulary for me to learn. I like it when the sentences are descriptive and immersive, almost in a fantastical way. Even more important though, I just cannot stand it when a phrase, or in some cases even when word, is repeated multiple times within a few sentences. To me, it gives the impression of unpolished, sloppy writing. I am completely unable to become immersed in this book– or, for that matter, even mildly interested. It makes me almost angry when I read sentences such as the ones above, which are so coarse. I completely understand that this stream-of-conscience writing is a very purposeful thing, and I’m sure endearing and immersive to many people. I know this book is well-loved, and I have no problem with that. This is just never a book I would choose to read on my own. In part, I read so that I can better learn how to write, and from this book, I am not at all learning a style of writing that I would ever use.

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