Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Ax Ismail/Holden Caulfield Connection

Amid all the speculation about the meaning of the Virginia Tech killer’s phrase, Ax Ismail, I’m surprised folks are overlooking the obvious connection to “The Catcher In The Rye.”

Remember the scene just before Holden shoots up his dormitory?

Doesn't Holden have sex in his empty English class with the school receptionist, a girl Salinger inexplicably named "Ishmael?" Then, after their intimacy, doesn't the receptionist named Ishmael break the glass of a fire hose cabinet, take out the fire ax and chop off the head of the school’s principal?

I’m surprised the media isn’t running with this. It’s a good catch. Of course, it’s been a while since I’ve read through “The Catcher In The Rye,” so I might be mis-remembering one or two details . . .

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