Holden Caulfield: A Narrative Analysis

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Unreliable narrators are incorporated into universally acclaimed literature, both modern and classic. Some narrators are unreliable because they blatantly lie, or mask events from the reader. Others are unreliable because they fail to distinguish between reality and fiction, appearing to be stricken with insanity. Perhaps it is inexperience which makes them only able to see events in a naive light. Edgar Allen Poe’s character Montresor in The Cask of Amontillado is a prime example of an unreliable narrator, as is J. D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. However, it can be difficult to distinguish between what is a reliable narrator, and what is not. An unreliable narrator is one who cannot be trusted to tell the story…show more content…
The perspective is from a man named Lockwood, a tenant in a house belonging to Heathcliff. His curiosity about the past leads him to ask Nelly Dean, the housekeeper, about it. She agrees, and tells him the tale of Heathcliff, Catherine, and those who became mixed up in their affairs. All of what she tells him is from her memory, which is an imperfect way of learning what had transpired, but perhaps the only way. Because of that, details are warped, changed, and forgotten. Some parts of the story that Nelly tells Lockwood were told to her; not a first hand account. All the events are filtered through Nelly, and then Lockwood, which causes the story to be even further changed from its natural state. Nelly is biased, and that is shown when she insults Catherine by calling her things like selfish, proud, and haughty. All of those characteristics of the narration in Wuthering Heights make it…show more content…
The main protagonist is a young college woman, Esther Greenwood. When she goes home for the summer, she experiences extreme insomnia, and begins to believe that she has not slept in an impossible amount of time. The certainty she feels for what the reader knows is simply impossible shows that she is not able to convey events reliably. However, that is only the beginning of the mental health struggles occurring in this novel. Another event that further showcases Esther’s mental health problems is her getting admitted to a mental health facility. It is there she undergoes electroshock therapy, and where she feels she has lost her mind. The period when she is in the facility is a dark one, as the reader delves deeper into the depression and loss of control Esther feels. The mental health issues that Esther has makes her an unreliable

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