Catcher in the Rye Essay

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CatCharlie Kottler
English 31-McDonough
April 8, 2013

Love is perhaps man’s greatest folly and success. It can drive one’s ambitions or lead him on a road to disaster. Will, in “Good Will Hunting”, struggles with allowing himself to love, making his life unnecessarily hard to keep people out. He pushed all people dissimilar to his lifestyle away; as the fear of failure paralyzes him. Holden, in “Catcher in the Rye” does not allow loveable figures to enter into his life as well. While being a talented writer and well meaning individual, lack of a mentor or caregiver postpones his development. Neither has felt what it is like to be cared for, and battle with the understanding of love. Holden and Will each are afraid to let others foster their ambitions however it is with the acceptance of others’ love they are able to awaken and reach true happiness. Will is afraid to allow Sean into his life, as this requires Will to expose himself. Will never had someone care for him. He was a foster child, and his previous caregivers betrayed his trust. This betrayal made Will hesitant to allow others into his life, perhaps ruining the safety of a small loyal circle of friends. By not allowing himself to care for Sean or let Sean understand him, he is able to neglect his fear for pain and failure. He cannot be hurt as long as no one enters his life, for “real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself.” Holden parallels Will’s tendency to keep people out of life. When Mr. Antolini, a teacher of his, hears of his troubles and invites him to the apartment, however Holden leaves during their conversation. Holden and Will are like “many men, who have been as morally and spiritually troubled.” Holden will not accept the help of Mr. Antolini because the love shown to him is foreign. When Mr. Antolini pats his head, he mistakes care for a sexual approach. This touch is something that he, and Will, was not given as a child, and represents energy...
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