Catcher In The RyeDoes Voice Matter Essay

Catcher In The Rye-Does Voice Matter Essay, Research Paper

Does the Voice Matter?

How important is the voice that tells a story? It seems

almost trivial to claim that the same story can change

because of the voice telling it to you. Does the voice and

point of view of the narrator play a large enough role in a

novel to change the attitude of the reader about the novel?

J.D.. Salinger uses the dominant character of Holden

Caulfield to be the first person narrator of his novel The

Catcher in the Rye. The key to Holden?s narrative voice is

the fact that it added life and a connection to the

character. This voice transforms an otherwise lifeless story

to a jump start and electric novel. In order to find out how

important this narrator was to the story we will compare the

novel The Catcher in the Rye to the piece ?A Slight

Rebellion of Madison?(the summary of the very same novel as

told in third person omniscient).

In looking at the importance of Holden?s role we will

first look at the summary of the novel. In ?Slight Rebellion

off Madison? the character of Holden Caulfield has been

eliminated and an outside third person narrator replaces

him. This version goes through the story explaining the

basic outlining of The Catcher in the Rye. The outline is

what the summary gives to the reader and that?s all it

gives. The basic plot is average, but with out the

connection to the reader it keeps the reader on the outside

through the whole thing. The plot tells the happenings of a

young man named Holden Caulfield, but without really knowing

to much about the character of Holden the plot line is

lifeless and boring for the reader. We see the experiences

that Holden goes through, but the reader doesn?t get

involved. It is hard for most readers to sympathize with

Holden therefore Salinger relies on the connection Holden

makes with the reader to get the reader involved in the life

of Holden.

What about Holden?s narrative voice causes such a giant

impact on the novel? I s it his loud personality or just

that the reader is allowed to but put in the position as his

best friend. Salinger starts the novel right away with

Holden trying to relate to the reader. ?If you really want

to hear about it, the first thing you?ll probably want to

know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was

like, and how my parents were occupied all before they had

me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don?t

feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.?

Throughout the entire novel Holden uses slang and swear

words to give the reader a more familiar feeling to him.

Salinger makes it seem as though Holden is confiding

everything to the reader. this is the key to the novel and

why it is more than a simple story line.


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