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In "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, what does the narrator say in the...

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sachent | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted October 2, 2012 at 2:20 AM via web

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In "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, what does the narrator say in the beginning with regard to fulfilling the reader’s expectations for an autobiography?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:01 PM (Answer #1)

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Halfway down the first page, in the first paragraph, Holden explicitly says, "I'm not going to tell you my whole ****** autobiography or anything"(1). "I'll just tell you about this madman stuff," he continues in the next line. In this opening section of the book, the narrator makes a reference to David Copperfield, too, and calls it crap. This suggests that he won't be going into details about growing up under an unjust whip as seen in many of Dickens' tales. He admits that discussing such "crap" bores him and that he just wasn't in the mood to tell the reader about his growing up years before high school. The reader certainly gains great insight into the main character and narrator of the story right from the beginning, as well as a direct announcement that it won't be his life's story.

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