Untitled Structure by Julian & Brian


When you want to start something that you have a really good idea for, the final product usually ends up looking nothing like the original design. That’s what happened to me while building my architectural structure for the book, Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. I started off with a box-like structure with holes in it. The holes would have shown the “weaknesses” of Holden’s personality. As time moved on I sort of scrapped and abandoned that idea. I got together with my partner and we developed an idea on how Holden is different from everybody else. Later on we met with Professor Pericoli on Skype to discuss the project. He gave us an amazing drawing of what his vision of our structure would look like. And just like that we were building the structure he drew with our own little twist to it.

The structure is basically a bunch of protruding walls going out of the inside of a building with a giant cylinder in the middle. The walls are all square and sharp looking while the cylinder is smooth and taller than the walls. When a person is inside he will experience a big space which is much more complex on the inside than the plain outside. There will be many square walls that are all almost identical, and that one thing that stands out of the bunch. The person inside will mostly be occupied by the big sharp looking walls while they ignore the smooth surface of the cylinder. When they eventually get out of the structure they will realize how significant the cylinder actually is from the outside, as that is the only thing they will be able to see.

In the novel, there are many characteristics in people that Holden realizes are all the same. An example of this is how everyone is "phony" to Holden. In the novel there is also that one person or thing that stands out from the bunch. In this case it is Holden Himself. The cylinder comes to represent Holden. He is different from everybody else in the novel. Holden is a very interesting character to get to know. The first person narration shows the real Holden and how he is different from others. He says about himself that he is told by many adults that he is “childish” and even admits to that at times. Holden never really grew up. He wants to stay a kid deep inside. Holden says "I started thinking how old Phoebe would feel if I got pneumonia and died. It was a childish way to think, but I couldn't stop myself."  The fact that Holden "couldn’t stop himself," shows how strong the effect of his childhood still is on him. The cylinder is smooth and round offering nothing to intimidate or be harmful to anyone. This is a representation of baby’s toys. They are usually big, stand out, and are made round and safe for kids.

 The people Holden views as "phony" are the walls. They are more “dangerous.” The walls are very sharp and boxy. All of the walls are different widths so none of them are exactly the same. The walls are all made of the same thing, have the same shape, and are relatively close to each other. Each wall has its own unique width. Each wall representing a different person, since no two people are exactly the same. Holden comments about Sally saying, "She was quite a little phony." Holden says this to just about everyone he knows. Another example is when he is talking about Selma Thurmur's dad. He said "She probably knew what a phony slob he (Selma's dad) was." Many more phrases similar to this were said by Holden about numerous other people in the novel. The points of the walls are to act as representations of the "phony" similarities between all the people that Holden knows. They also contradict the cylinder's "childlike, pure personality," which again represents the special one out of all the characters in the novel, Holden.

The project was very interesting to make. I was able to watch myself move step by step and develop ideas as I went on. The project showed the various different ideas and thoughts that students had. I started to look at the novel very differently now that the project is done. If I were to go back and read the novel again I would certainly understand much more of the concepts in it. The project was carried out in a bit of a rush but it was a great experience. It was fun and is definitely worth doing something similar in the future. All in all I enjoyed this project a lot and I feel like I have benefited from it greatly.

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