From The Catcher in the Rye, create a title for chapters 6 and 25 describing events, moods or significance of the individual chapter and explain the significance of the particular chapter to the...

From The Catcher in the Rye, create a title for chapters 6 and 25 describing events, moods or significance of the individual chapter and explain the significance of the particular chapter to the novel and a well supported explanation of the title.

 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In chapters 6 and 25, elements of the novel's exposition and conclusion are evident.  

Chapter 6- Appearances and Reality

One of the most dominant elements in chapter 6 is the idea of surface and reality.  Stradlater looks like he is a upstanding and honorable fellow.  He conforms to all of the external realities.  The reality is that he is far from it.  In the way he uses people for his own ends and in the fact that little he is represents authenticity, Stradlater is not what he appears to be.  Conversely, Holden comes across as an almost chivalry bound knight in how he stands up for Jane and in challenging Stradlater.  He comes across as one who will defend his honor through any means.  Yet, the reality is that he is not very insightful and not perceptive, as well as being quite limited as a fighter.  The appearances of Holden being what might be a knight in shining armor are pierced through quite quickly when Stradlater beats him down.  The bloodied nature of Holden's face after the fight is a physical symbol of the distortion between appearances and reality.  I think that this dynamic is an important one because appearances and reality defines much in the way that Holden relates to the world and how he relates to himself.  There is an consistent thread of appearances and reality that runs through the narrative.  It is present with Holden's railing against "phonies" and is evident in how Holden finds a sense of purpose in what is real in his love for Phoebe.

Chapter 25- The Carousel

I tend to think that the best title for Chapter 25 captures the fundamental image of Phoebe on the carousel.  For Holden, this moment represents a sense of restoration and hope in a setting that had been devoid of it:

Then the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round...All the kids tried to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she's fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it is bad to say anything to them.

There is an innocence to the moment that strikes Holden.  The carousel triggers in his own nostalgia for a part of his life that had gone, and for a moment, reappeared in Phoebe's happiness at trying to "grab for the gold ring."  The circular notion of the carousel captures much of childhood innocence in how it goes back and forth and there is happiness throughout.  This state of being is something that appeals to Holden, as it represents a moment of authenticity, where he sees things as they really are.  Holden is taken in by the moment.  It is for this reason that the carousel provides what very well could serve as an epiphany for him.  In seeing Phoebe and realizing the power of the moment, Holden is reminded of the power of love and what it feels like to be loved.  This sense of unity had been absent for so much of the narrative and is reinforced to him at this instant.  "The Carousel" ends up becoming an appropriate title for the chapter and how Holden recognizes what is true and transcendent in a world of temporal reality.

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