How important is the voice that tells a story? It seemsalmost trivial to claim that the same story can changebecause of the voice telling it to you. Does the voice andpoint of view of the narrator play a large enough role in anovel to change the attitude of the reader about the novel?J.D.. Salinger uses the dominant character of HoldenCaulfield to be the first person narrator of his novel TheCatcher in the Rye. The key to Holdens narrative voice isthe fact that it added life and a connection to thecharacter.
This voice transforms an otherwise lifeless storyto a jump start and electric novel. In order to find out howimportant this narrator was to the story we will compare thenovel The Catcher in the Rye to the piece A SlightRebellion of Madison(the summary of the very same novel asIn looking at the importance of Holdens role we willfirst look at the summary of the novel. In Slight Rebellionoff Madison the character of Holden Caulfield has beeneliminated and an outside third person narrator replaceshim.
This version goes through the story explaining thebasic outlining of The Catcher in the Rye. The outline iswhat the summary gives to the reader and thats all itgives. The basic plot is average, but with out theconnection to the reader it keeps the reader on the outsidethrough the whole thing. The plot tells the happenings of ayoung man named Holden Caulfield, but without really knowingto much about the character of Holden the plot line islifeless and boring for the reader. We see the experiencesthat Holden goes through, but the reader doesnt getinvolved. It is hard for most readers to sympathize withHolden therefore Salinger relies on the connection Holdenmakes with the reader to get the reader involved in the lifeWhat about Holdens narrative voice causes such a giantimpact on the novel? I s it his loud personality or justthat the reader is allowed to but put in the position as hisbest friend. Salinger starts the novel right away withHolden trying to relate to the reader. If you really wantto hear about it, the first thing youll probably want toknow is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood waslike, and how my parents were occupied all before they hadme, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I dontfeel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
Throughout the entire novel Holden uses slang and swearwords to give the reader a more familiar feeling to him.
Salinger makes it seem as though Holden is confidingeverything to the reader. this is the key to the novel andwhy it is more than a simple story line.
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