The Catcher in the Rye home assignment


Throughout the novel, Holden is a tormented adolescent. He feels alienated and isolated at Pency Prep, he is belittled by women he wants to impress, he is beaten up twice, he wants to run away and cut himself off from all other people, and he even considers suicide. Yet, in spite of Holden’s pain, the novel is funny. It really is. Why did Salinger choose humor as the tone for the novel? How does Salinger’s use of humor contribute to the book’s overall meaning and effect? Consider how the book’s overall meaning would be different if Salinger did not use so much humor.



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