Catcher in the Rye

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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. 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...
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