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Techniques in the Novel Catcher In The Rye and Movie The Social Network

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Techniques are a commonly used by authors and directors to display different messages in a media. Slinger and Fincher use this in the book ‘Catcher in the rye’ and the movie ‘The Social Network’ to give the audience a better understanding on the protagonists, Holden and Mark. These techniques include setting, symbolism and language, these techniques are seen in the book and the movie and show a different side to the protagonists. Setting is used in the book and the movie to symbolize the protagonist emotions and behavior. Symbolism is seen throughout the book by the use of a mit and in the movie as the lights of Facebook turn off. A similar language technique is seen in the book and the movie as it is read quickly which results in the feeling that it is an ‘off the mouth style’. Salinger and Fincher use these techniques amongst others to help portray the protagonist in a different light.

Setting is a common technique that can define a protagonist’s past and present emotions and put their behavior into perspective. The first moments in any media’s purpose is to define the character and inform the audience of the protagonist’s nature and emotions. This is done in the book ‘catcher in the rye’ during the opening scene when Holden is described to be “standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill”, this is rather significant due to the events occurring. Down the hill was the “football game with Saxon Hall”, football for this school was significant and “you were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pencey didn't Win”. This is significant as during the biggest game Holden was the only one not watching it, equally him standing on the hill over watching displays his feeling of being an outsider and different. Setting is used in the social network as the time of day was night as the darkness adds a feel on sadness across the frame as the scene is more well lit than Mark. A subtle hint at his feeling of sadness and chaos is that it had just rained, this is hinted at the wet bricks and grass. This feeling of chaos is also displayed when Mark is walking though the city and the ambient sound is full of horns, cars and emergency vehicles. The scene of Holden above the hill displays a felling of being an outsider and different and the night in the social network displays Marks emotions after being dumped. The technique of setting helps to put the character into perspective and give off subtle information regarding his nature.

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Symbolism is a key concept in different medias as throughout they are used to show a deeper message that can be hard to pick up. In the book the symbolism of a mitt is used to display Holden’s need to be the catcher in the rye. This phrase, ‘the catcher in the rye’ symbolizes a field of rye at which there is a cliff on the edge, Holden is the catcher in the rye. Holden is “standing on the edge of some crazy cliff” he has to “everybody if they start to go over the cliff”. Holden states that adulthood “looks lazy” and that childhood “looks all right”. In the movie during a dramatic scene when Shaun recently got busted doing cocaine with minors he phones Mark to inform him. As they are speaking the lights in the background surrounding the Facebook logo go dim and out. This is a high form of symbolism as it displays the threat that this event has on the company. The symbolism of the Mitt and the catcher in the rye describes Holdens feelings towards adulthood and his desire for others not to transition into adulthood. In the movie the symbolism of the Facebook lights turning of symbolizes Facebooks future depleting due to the threat of Shaun’s actions.

Language is a key component in all medias that help to give an understanding in the type of text and like the other techniques, the nature of the protagonist. The language in the book is considered to be inappropriate considering the time. Holden uses language such as “asshole”, “damm”, “ass”, “god”, and other profanity’s. This language shows the reader that Holden doesn’t have a filter and speaks his mind, this is shown when he speaks to others by saying “You grab your bags and scoot right on back here again”. In the movie Mark often speaks quickly jumping from train of thought to train of thought, this is seen during his date when he says “we stopped talking about that ages ago”. This is said in question as his date couldn’t keep up with him speaking. This rapid speech by Mark displays that he has a lot to say and speaks his mind. The technique of language in catcher in the rye displays Holdens lack of filter and Marks constant need to talk and Intelligence.

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Techniques in the Novel Catcher In The Rye and Movie The Social Network. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“Techniques in the Novel Catcher In The Rye and Movie The Social Network.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
Techniques in the Novel Catcher In The Rye and Movie The Social Network. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2023].
Techniques in the Novel Catcher In The Rye and Movie The Social Network [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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