Alienation and Isolation in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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In Touch with Society In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger discusses the ideas of alienation and isolation. He notes that if one is unable to keep up with society they lose touch. Salinger portrays alienation and isolation through literary devices such as symbolism. Some of the symbolic features use in the novel is Holden’s red hunting hat which shows Holden’s uncommon desire compared to society’s desires. Another significant symbolic feature is the catcher in the rye; this represents Holden’s idea of protecting children from maturing as adults and facing reality. Another literary device is tone, although Holden seems preoccupied, he constantly tries to seek companionship throughout the book. J.D. Salinger also portrays irony, it is ironic that Holden calls the people around him loners and phonies when he, himself is a loner and a phony that refuses to accept taking on responsibilities and growing up. The literary devices used in this novel, further support Salinger’s recurring theme of alienation and isolation. One of the literary devices in this novel is symbolism. Holden’s red hunting hat is the symbolic feature that alienates him from society. Ackley tells Holden “Up home we wear a hat like that to shoot deer in, for Chrissake… That’s a deer shooting hat” (Salinger 30), meaning Holden’s hat is only worn while hunting. Holden does not seem to care much for Ackley’s opinion and he wears it anyways. This shows Holden’s individuality and his uncommon desire compared

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