Literature The Catcher In The Rye Discussion

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ange1eye5
Topic
06:35:30 PM Nov 22nd 2015
What I don't understand about Holden's ideas about keeping children innocent is how will they be passed on? If part of that is keeping them away from sex, who will inherit his ideas and ideals? Most information is passed from parent to child. Most times, people have to have sex in order to have children and the means of not having sex to have children was virtually unheard of at the time.
isolato
07:29:20 AM Nov 23rd 2015
edited by isolato
He does not wish to keep them celibate indefinitely, just to protect them from dirty words when they're still children, AFAIK. (Most people tend to have sex only when they're grown-up, not as children, anyway. It wouldn't made sense from the reproductive point of view.)
ange1eye5
09:07:31 AM Nov 23rd 2015
edited by ange1eye5
Of course, that depends on when people are considered children, people are screwing in their teenage years more often than in Holden's time. As far as protecting them from dirty words, good luck with that.
isolato
09:31:51 AM Nov 23rd 2015
You're welcome, but my point basically was to explain what Holden was actually attempting.
ange1eye5
09:53:10 AM Nov 23rd 2015
I was referring to Holden in his regards to keep children from dirty words with the "good luck with that."
isolato
09:57:36 AM Nov 23rd 2015
Thank you for clarification.
ange1eye5
Topic
07:05:46 PM Nov 21st 2015
How is Holden a Byronic Hero? He's not very charismatic, not self-critical (he's very much the opposite), and not an internally motivated person, content to just complain about the world rather than do something about it. Holden doesn't even live up to his own standards of not being a phony, pretending to be "Rudolph" (or was it Rudolf?) to another classmate's mother, to give an example, and doesn't even try.
isolato
07:43:37 AM Nov 23rd 2015
edited by isolato
He certainly has other 'Byronic' traits:

  • ''One mark against him personality wise, however, is a struggle with his own personal integrity.
  • Is very intelligent, perceptive, sophisticated, educated, cunning and adaptable, but also self-centered.
  • Is emotionally sensitive, which may translate into being emotionally conflicted, bipolar, or moody.
  • He is extremely passionate, with strong personal beliefs which are usually in conflict with the values of the status quo. He sees his own values and passions as above or better than those of others, manifesting as arrogance or a martyr-like attitude.'' &c.

No need to pass all criteria - that condition could disqualify lot of other Byronic heroes. (In my opinion he's something of a Reconstruction - "a Byronic hero for the fifties". Perhaps even with a hint of Deconstruction, totally missed by fandom.)
ange1eye5
09:06:05 AM Nov 23rd 2015
One of the hallmarks, though, is being a Determinator and I don't see that in Holden. I don't see the conflict in Holden either.
isolato
09:38:27 AM Nov 23rd 2015
edited by isolato
Could not find this as a defining trait of a Byronic Hero. The closest I came to was: "His intense drive and determination to live out his philosophy without regard to others' philosophies produces conflict, and may result in a tragic end, should he fail, or revolution, should he succeed. Because of this, he is very rebellious, having a distaste for social institutions and norms and is disrespectful of rank and privilege, though he often has said rank and privilege himself. This rebellion often leads to social isolation, rejection, or exile, or to being treated as an outlaw, but he will not compromise, being unavoidably self-destructive." Not exactly the same thing as the determinator, IMO. As regards to the conflict - are we talking about the same character? Holden's really both messed up internally and intensely resentful/condescending towards - well almost every adult (with very few exceptions - Mr. Spencer and Mr. Antolini) he meets during the book; and towards most of his fellow teenagers too - i.e. almost all the society. Yet he somewhat attempts to get at least some recognition of all the phonies he met, even though he "does not really care". Or so he says.

ange1eye5
09:50:40 AM Nov 23rd 2015
edited by ange1eye5
Yes we are talking about the same character, I meant the internal conflict. As far as the Determinator aspect, as someone who must take the long, hard road to do what must be done, I don't see that part of him.
isolato
09:55:53 AM Nov 23rd 2015
edited by isolato
Yep, a teenager who flunked the school and ran away, attempts to get attention of his teachers and parents (altough he quite dislikes the latter and most of the former) and is Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life, wandering through New York, must be obviously a well-balanced person. -)

"As far as the Determinator aspect, as someone who must take the long, hard road to do what must be done, I don't see that part of him."
  • He is extremely passionate, with strong personal beliefs which are usually in conflict with the values of the status quo. He sees his own values and passions as above or better than those of others, manifesting as arrogance or a martyr-like attitude. Sometimes, however, he just sees himself as one who must take the long, hard road to do what must be done.
ange1eye5
11:03:56 AM Nov 23rd 2015
edited by ange1eye5
I guess what I'm having trouble with is what is the said road and I don't see the road or the destination he is set upon. I just took that as a Determinator. Holden, from what I read, is content to complain about the world than do something about it. I've always interpreted that aspect of a Byronic Hero (partially) as someone who does something about the situation he's in. It also implies that he or she hits parts of the major criteria listed and I don't see the part about the self-critical and introspective part. Holden is quick to blame things on others rather than take responsibility.
ange1eye5
07:59:02 AM Nov 24th 2015
Also, as I mentioned before, that the intense drive and determination to live out his philosophy without regard to others philosophies produces conflict, and may result in a tragic end, should he fail, or revolution, should he succeed. I guess I don't see that drive with his dislike for phonies, yet lies about who he is.
isolato
07:28:16 AM Nov 25th 2015
edited by isolato
(@ Nov 23) Perhaps, but these (Determinator etc.) are still conditions for a Byronic hero you just made up or quotemined. You are imagining byronic heroes perhaps too literally - a lot of them (though not most of the original heroes by Lord Byron) are just rather obnoxiously whining, instead of acting out their rebellion in the external world.

Holden is quick to blame things on others rather than take responsibility.

Any contradiction with a byronic hero here?

(@ Nov 24) Basically I always assumed that all his wandering was the expression of his inability to resolve conflict between his opinions on society and his inability to take some appropriate action. And his end is certainly not a full throttle tragedy, but hardly a happy ending. Not byronic enough for you?
ange1eye5
07:59:59 AM Dec 5th 2015
edited by ange1eye5
The contradiction was that a Byronic Hero is self-critical and introspective. As I detailed above repeatedly, Holden is neither.
isolato
07:27:26 AM Dec 7th 2015
As I detailed above repreatedly, that's one personal trait of a byronic hero you chose to stress. Arguably Holden is not the typical 19th century byronic hero, but still fulfills most of the characrerizations, critical being "actions and beliefs in contrast to the society".

I've seen lately in the article history you got tired by this discussion and resorted to one-sided deletion? How easy.
ange1eye5
09:57:08 AM Dec 7th 2015
edited by ange1eye5
The reason why I stressed it is because it's a pretty big personal trait, enough that it has its own bullet point. You got it backwards, I deleted it first (with a note to justify to me how Holden is a Byronic Hero), put it into Headscratchers, and then brought it into discussion as a challenge of sorts of how Holden qualifies as a Byronic Hero. That's how I started this entire discussion.
isolato
07:49:17 AM Dec 8th 2015
One of them. Which "might be helpful in identification".

My apology, I haven't noticed chronological order of your actions. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards' then?

isolato
Topic
07:02:18 AM Aug 13th 2014
edited by 87.249.145.69
Vinyl shatters - is it worthy of including, even as an aversion? According to the book: "It was a very old, terrific record that this colored girl singer, Estelle Fletcher, made about twenty years ago."

In early 1930s commercially available vinyl record would be more of a curiosity - though not completely impossible. Most commercially released records were shellac, due to cost consideration and most record players then in use being able to play only the shellac records, with vinyl becoming generally spread among general public only after the World War II.
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