The Catcher in the Rye Essay

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In the following excerpt, Mitchell considers the significance of Holden Caulfield being an unreliable narrator.

In the work, Holden has analyzed his family as a representative slice of society and has concluded that adult society is phony and corrupt. But can we really trust his observations of his family after he has told us that he lies? Is he not, like the Cretan who declared that all Cretans were liars, a person declaring that all people are phony? If everyone is phony, then he is phony, too! Although Holden has claimed that he is a liar, he does not always realize whether he is lying or telling the truth. The distinctions between truth and falsehood become blurred as he often adds the phrase "to tell you the truth" onto whatever he is saying. But does this catch phrase ensure that his words are any more truthful? This unambiguous...

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This section contains 2,950 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Catcher in the Rye Study Guide
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