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What are some examples of beautiful, figurative language in J.D. Salinger's Catcher in...

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brooklynn1994 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 5, 2012 at 2:46 AM via web

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What are some examples of beautiful, figurative language in J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye?

I need specific examples, like a passage and and explanation of why this passage shows imagery, sentence structure, voice, and/or figurative language.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 11, 2012 at 8:10 PM (Answer #1)

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At first thought, one might not think that any beautiful language would be found inCatcher in the Ryedue to the multiple uses of vulgarity on every page; but, absent from the realism of teenage talk, there are some great passages. The beautiful language is usually revealed when Holden is praising someone or something rather than criticising. For example, Holden remembers reading about Monsieur Blanchard, a character in a book who said something Holden liked. Holden summarized it by saying, "He said, in one part, that a woman's body is like a violin and all, and that it takes a terrific musician to play it right" (93). The comparison between playing a violin and touching a woman is beautiful even though Holden's choice of filler words are added therein (e.g. "and all"). Most of Holden's style of character comes through his descriptions of people like "booze hound" (79), "phonies," or "I know more **** perverts . . . than anybody you ever met, and they're always getting perverty when I'm around" (192). That last one is hilarious, but it certainly creates the sense of his character that drives home the idea of who Holden is.


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