Catcher in the Rye and Igby Goes Down Comparitive Study

Topics: The Catcher in the Rye, Igby Goes Down, Burr Steers Pages: 3 (1155 words) Published: July 14, 2012
Analyse how composers of the set text reflect the concerns of their time

The Bildungsroman 1950’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger and its late-twentieth century film appropriation, Igby goes down, directed by Bur steers can be seen as two texts that not only reflect the concerns of their time within their contextual societies, but furthermore challenge them. Good morning/afternoon Ms’ Parkinson and fellow students, today I will be discussing how the Composers Salinger and Steer question the existence of values such as Materialism and Relationships, with emphasise on Societies desire to pursue socio-cultural ‘norms’- which is essentially the accepted behaviour in a society or group. Through the use of Salinger’s literary techniques and Steers utilisation of cinematic film techniques; both composers achieve this ultimate purpose. Although the two texts take different forms and occur in different periods of time, they both share a common purpose; to question conservative values which hinder the Journey of ‘unique’ individuals such as Holden Caulfield and “Igby” Solcumb, to Maturity.

The 1950’s novel The Catcher in the Rye experienced the post WWII economic boom, which lead to an expansion of inflation and a rise of spending in middle and upper classed societies of America. The result – consumerism - which simply meant that people of the current society put a greater emphasis on material possession with goals of pursuing happiness - the ‘American Dream’. Salinger challenges this value through the construction of the novels protagonist, Holden Caulfield. As the reader we are given the first insight into Holden’s non-conformity through his displeasure towards his education. The several private schools he has attended, and flunked, are a joint symbol for institutions of conformity and also materialism. Holden explains this through his description of Pencey Prep; “its full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart...
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