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The Catcher in the Rye Essay | Critical Essay #3

This Study Guide consists of approximately 96 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Catcher in the Rye.
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Critical Essay #3

In the following excerpt, Baumbach explores the meaning of "innocence" in The Catcher in the Rye.

J D Salinger's first and only novel, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), has undergone in recent years a steady If over insistent devaluation. The more It becomes academically respectable, the more it becomes fair game for those critics who are self-sworn to expose every manifestation of what seems to them a chronic disparity between appearance and reality. It is critical child's play to find fault with Salinger's novel. Anyone can see that the prose is mannered (the pejorative word for stylized); no one actually talks like its first-person hero Holden Caulfield. Moreover, we are told that Holden, as poor little rich boy, is too precocious and specialized an adolescent for his plight to have larger-than-prepschool significance. The novel is sentimental; it loads the deck for Holden and against the adult world; the...

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This section contains 2,524 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Catcher in the Rye Study Guide
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The Catcher in the Rye from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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