What is achieved by the flashback technique of looking back to events that have already happened?
Holden begins his narrative by looking back into the past. He refers to events that have already taken place. This flashback technique is a scene or event from the past that appears in a narrative out of chronological order which allows the author to fill in information and to provide details of the background story. It also allows for the introduction of important details from the past to explain something in the present, without having to tell the whole story from beginning to end. By using flashbacks the reader is drawn into Holden’s story and his memories.
He is satisfied that this recollection is positive enough. As a result, he can proceed visiting his history teacher.
The entire novel is actually based on Holden’s flashbacks and all of the action in the book is given in a series of flashbacks from Holden’s point of view. During these flashbacks Holden’s mind often wanders and he then digresses. The first digression is about DB, Holden’s brother. He really admires his brother very much and tells the reader what an excellent writer DB is. “He wrote this terrific book of short stories, The Secret Goldfish, in case you never heard of him.” He tells about DB living in Hollywood, his Jaguar, and that he has a lot of money. However he is upset with his brother who is now writing screenplays and feels that he is now also becoming phony and prostituting his literary talents in Hollywood.
By making use of flashbacks Holden engages the reader to become part of his story. The reader is filled in with a lot of detail that is necessary to understand Holden’s complex, confused and depressed mind. It is as if knowing what happened in the past enables...