Uncivilized Free and Wild Thinking

Topics: Fiction, The Catcher in the Rye, Writing Pages: 2 (631 words) Published: October 31, 2005
When first reading The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, one might view the novel as bland, or ordinary. However, once finished with the book, it is evident that the story exhibits many qualities that Thoreau addresses in his essay, "Walking," which characterize "uncivilized free and wild thinking." These distinct characteristics of free and uncivilized writing are brought about through the author's tone and style of writing, as well as through the characters and themes. For an author to think free and uncivilized, he must be steadfast in his ideas. He must be unmoved by negative criticism of his ideas and thoughts. An author must have original ideas and original ways of conveying them. He must also avoid everyday trivia and write about volatile and controversial subject matter in order to be considered a "wild" thinker. J.D. Salinger exemplifies all of the characteristics of an "uncivilized" author. Salinger's tone and writing style help to give The Catcher in the Rye its uncivilized, free, and wild characteristics. Salinger uses a very unconventional tone in his book. His tone could be described as bitter, hollow, and sarcastic (much like the attitude of the main character). Salinger also uses crass and vulgar language. This "in your face" style of writing is what gives The Catcher in the Rye its uncivilized image. Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel, is an additional reason for the "wildness" of The Catcher in the Rye. Holden is a teenager experiencing the painfulness of growing up, and it is apparent by the way in which he narrates the story in an almost sneering fashion. Holden is pessimistic, deceitful, judgmental, and short-tempered. Holden has no respect for his piers and treats them like dirt. In the novel, he often fights with his friends over juvenile disagreements. He often "judges a book by its cover" when it come to people. Holden's constant thoughts and attitudes about sex are also very controversial. Holden experiences many...
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