The Catcher in the Rye

What kind of tone is established in the first paragraph, and how is it done

Chapter 1

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In Chapter 1, J.D. Salinger has his protagonist begin The Catcher in the Rye with a bold and sarcastic declaration. Holden immediately rejects the idea that the events that he describes in the novel consist of his life story or that this story is indicative of any larger message. He eschews the Dickensian idea of literature in novels like David Copperfield, in which the plot and narrative progress with a moral message, and he does not intend to inspire sympathy for himself like another David Copperfield or Oliver Twist. Besides, he is probably at a boarding school because his parents are wealthy. Instead of pointing toward a moral, he adopts a discursive style with no concrete message. His story is what it is, and Holden’s story is his own, not really a cautionary tale for others. As Holden insists, his tale exists independent of any larger meaning or message.