I need to write a good thesis statement for how narrative and character style are used to convey meaning in The Catcher in the Rye.  

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a great question to think about in relation to this excellent novel. Clearly, one part of the story that you cannot ignore at all is the point of view. Having Holden tell the story himself means that we gain unprecedented access to his thoughts and motives, seeing what he things about other people that he comes across in the story and also what he thinks about himself. This is a very revealing narrative choice that the author has made, and one of the fascinating stylistic consequences of using a first person narrator is that the narrator can themselves be unreliable, perhaps unknowingly. When we think about this in relation to this novel, we can see how Holden Caulfield often presents himself as a character who is a "phoney" whilst at the same time he bemoans the "phoniness" in others as a negative trait. Consider the following example from the beginning of Chapter Three:

I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible. So when I told old Spencer I had to go to the gym to get my equipment and stuff, that was a sheer lie. I don't even keep kmy goddam equipment in the gym.

Holden himself admits that he is a liar, but he does not associate this trait with him being a "phony" at all, which causes us as readers to question his objectivity. A thesis statement you might wish to use therefore to link narrative and character style would be the following:

The first person point of view of The Catcher in the Rye allows us to see the internal complexities of Holden Caulfield as a character and gives us even more understanding of his quest than he has himself.

Such a thesis statement would allow you to explore the inconsistencies within Caulfield himself and explore his character and how it develops through his trip.

unholysparks | Student

thanks so much that helped heaps i know how to start my draft now thanks again

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The Catcher in the Rye

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