Catcher in the Rye
Comparative Essay We as the generation X experience a lot of pressure and influence by the world around us, and these factors will affect our views on society. Some factors that will play a major role in our development will be influences by our parents, and the social changes we experience throughout the years. We are also influenced by social norms. J. D Salinger, the author of “The Catcher and the Rye” has done an excellent job giving a great view of the world from the perspective of an ordinary teenager named Holden Caulfield.
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Holden’s life had taken a deep journey into the world of adulthood, and his experiences are changing his views on adults. Holden is a lonely and a mysterious person who often thinks differently from others. You may see obvious signs that Holden is a troubled and unreliable narrator, who fails out of four schools and is very careless about his future. This may not be the case if every teenager’s life, but those who are forced into education have a likely chance of turning into a Holden.
The ISU novel “Juvie Three” by Gordon Korman, was identical to catcher since it too talked about the life of a teenagers but from a criminal’s point of view. The three protagonists Gecko, Arjay and Terence are convicts who are given a second chance to better their lives and to start fresh. The book talks about the struggles and decisions the three made in order to stay out of trouble. Although both books may be similar, the protagonists both have totally different goals and ideas of future.
Also the stories are more imaginative and less realistic when looking at certain parts in the book. But for a fact the novels portray a major theme that is a key aspect to a teenager, which is alienation as for self protection. Holden has alienated himself to keep from the dangers others may bring upon him, whereas the protagonist in “Juvie Three” have alienated themselves to keep away from trouble. Both the novels and my life can relate and differentiate from the life of a teenager and the influence the society has on us all.
We are the kids of the baby boomers, thus making our parents have total control over some of our lives. Some teens were forced into education, like Holden by his parents, which is apparently the key to having a “successful” future. In Holden’s case he is far from having a successful future due to his bad intentions towards education, which his parents are aware of. “Juvie Three” also shows great examples of when the three criminals are under the supervision of adults and have little or no freedom at anytime.
Adults have always had power over us; take for example the government, which consists of adults who decide on how the economy should be structured. We are required to live under their rules, since we are too “young” and “irresponsible” to have our own voice. The voting age in Canada is 18, meaning the government and its leaders of the past and present are saying that we who are considered “minors” should not have a say in our country of birth. This brings down our self esteem and it can have a major psychological effect as we grow older.
When Holden got involved with the pimp at the hotel, the pimp dominated him, regardless the fact he is just a teenager going through change. “Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules. ” This quote was said by one of Holden’s professors, and after Holden took in the meaning of this advice, he reacted by telling himself, “Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it’s a game, all right—I’ll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren’t any hot-shots, then what’s a game about it? Nothing. No game. What the intention here is that adults are always looking and giving acknowledgment from their point of view, rather than looking from a teenagers point. Adults giving advice from their perspectives, with lack of familiarity with teenagers’ life can only lead one through the wrong path. “Juvie three,” as I stated, portrays a great example of domination by adults, as the three protagonists have lost the little freedom they had in jail when they were released into the custody of Douglas Healy. Healy has received a New Directions “to create a living situation for boys in the juvenile detention system. He will be living with and supervising the trio in an apartment and they will be carefully overseen during every moment as they attend a public high school, participate in community service and take part in group counseling. They will also have no contact with any family or friends for the first 10 months. The three were randomly chosen and forced by “adults” to participate in this program, even though it may seem like its helping, the boys themselves affirmed that they’d rather stay in jail. Yet regardless they were put into the program.
We are all meant to be free birds, to fly free in our own little routes, but the contemplation of a teenager from an adult’s point of view will trap us in a cage forever. Another factor that was portrayed in both the novels and my personal life is the fear of a teens going into the world of adultery. In my novel called “Juvie Three”, the three main protagonists have accidently put their guardian in a coma and are currently taking in the responsibility as an adult to hide their crime. They seem to face many hardships in dealing with the situations. I myself am fearful of my future every time I think of attending college.
The fear of not being prepared and the nervousness about my expectations make my heart skip beats. As well my decisions made will be the first milestone towards my future in pursing my “dream” career. In my previous paragraph I talked about adults over ruling the teenagers, I fear of truing into that person. Out of the two books “The Cather in the Rye” portrayed more fear of change than “Juvie Three” because at one point Holden states that “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. . . . Nobody’d be different.
The only thing that would be different would be you. ” This symbolizes that Holden fears and does not know how to deal with conflict, confusion, and change. The museum presents him with an idea of life he can understand, since it is frozen, silent, and always the same. Every individual is afraid of change, not considering the fact that it may be positive or negative. One factor that differentiates both the novels is peer support and the individual’s ability to make and keep friends. As I read catcher, I learned that Holden is a very lonely individual who can’t maintain a stable relationship with any of his peers.
He feels as if he is alienated since he has nothing in common with those whom he knows. Holden had approached many in hope to earn their trust, but most these conversation end up in a character leaving or them bringing Holden’s self esteem down by contradicting with his ideas and thoughts. It is a fact that Holden is diagnosed with some kind of mental issue since he fails to pursue ideas that are less realistic. I congratulate him for having great fantasizes, but he has to be able to think like a real person in order to gain love from those he cares about.
Whereas the character from my novel, were able to make friends in their new school in no time. The main protagonist Gecko was able to make friends and even ends up in a deep relationship with a girl he just met. The difference between Gecko and Holden is that Gecko has a fixed mind when approaching someone, while Holden has 100s of things running through his head making him confused on what he should say and how he should response. Also Holden barely gets any support from his peers except for his sister who seems to be the only relation who cares for him, whereas Gecko and the two other protagonists seem to have a strong bond between them.
Alienation and the lack of peer support play a great role in the novel, since the entire plot is based on one’s aptitude to make and keep friends. Holden Caulfield is a free bird released into the night skies of New York City, where he can do whatever he desires to do for the few days he decides to stay there. Even though Holden may be a confused and lonely individual, he has a strong sense of his neighborhood he grew up in. He knows the bars, clubs, hotels, theaters and stores, making him very aware of his surroundings. He even knows a lot of other characters, but is unfortunately afraid to approach many of them.
On the other hand, Gecko, Arjay and Terence are all new to New York City, and have no idea where places are, not even their school. When their guardian goes into a coma, they struggle to find their destinations around the city. I personally like moving from place to place maybe because I’m used to it, since I moved to 6 different places in 9 years time. It is hard to adapt to change, but once you get used to the environment, life goes on. Out of all ages, we teens from the ages of 14-17 experience the most difficult factors relating to over control by adults and pressure from society or peers.
Even though all or lives may not be the same, we can all relate in one way or another. Both the authors have done a magnificent job in representing the lives of teens growing up. Even if you are a mentally challenged or a convicted criminal, you will still face issues that will turn your life upside down. It is up to you, as a responsible and intelligent teenager to make smart decisions to overcome these encounters. Know your place, know your parents and know your peers, this way you can be your own self and fight the stereotypes placed on young teenagers like us. The Catcher in the Rye” Summary The Catcher in the Rye begins with Holden Caulfield at Pencey Prep School in Pennsylvania, where he’s just been kicked out for failing all his classes. In the dorm, Holden introduces Ackley, who is a pimply and annoying kid and also his other roommate Stradlater who is very good looking according to Holden. Holden writes about his younger brother Allie, who died three years prior because he was diagnosed with leukemia. Stradlater comes back and gets into a fight with Holden, so Holden decides to leave Pencey, right then and there.
He gets off at station in New York, and he wants to call someone but can’t decide who, and ends up taking a cab to the a Hotel. Once he’s gotten a room at the hotel, Holden tries calling a girl who he knows, but fails to make a date with her. In the hotel lounge, he dances with three girls, only one of whom is attractive. When the girls take off, Holden thinks of Jane whom he had a crush on a few summers ago. Back in his hotel, he ends up with a prostitute named Sunny in his room. He’s more into talking than sex, and Sunny, who’s quite young herself, gets confused and leaves his room with a little of Holden’s money but no sex.
She comes back later with her pimp, and Holden ends up paying the prostitute double. The next day Holden leaves his hotel, makes a date with an old friend named Sally Hayes. Holden heads to the park to kill some time before his date with Sally. So he chats with a girl in the park. He had thoughts about the museum he used to visit as a child, he remarks on how the displays behind the glass cases always stay the same, but the people that visit are different every time. He meets Sally and goes skating with her. He shares with Sally his fantasy of running away, living in a log cabin for the rest of his life.
When Sally does not feel like running away to a cabin, Holden flips out and Sally ends up leaving. Alone yet again for the evening, Holden calls up an old friend from school, Carl, and arranges to meet him for drinks. At the bar, Carl and Holden go of in the wrong path making Carl leave early. Holden leaves home and visits an old teacher, Mr. Antolini. He gets another long lecture on the importance of education, and later Holden finds out that the teacher is a pervert which made him spend the rest of the night at a train station.
Holden decides to run away, informs his sister Phoebe, and finally meets up with her. She has decided that she wants to run away with him. Holden explains this isn’t possible. Phoebe gets angry and ignores Holden. But they get together later and end up at the carousel, where Holden promises Phoebe that he won’t run away after all. As he watches her go around on the carousel, he states that he’s happy, which is the first time we’ve heard him say that in the novel. One year later Holden is in therapy for getting “sick” in some way. THE END