Igby Goes Down and Catcher

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Comparisons Between Catcher in the Rye and Igby Goes Down

The Catcher in the Rye and Igby goes Down are texts of Bildungsroman. Throughout the to texts we are shown the elements of conformity, societal expectations and most prominently belonging. In both texts the protagonists: Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye and Igby Slocumb in Igby Goes Down are portrayed as anti-heroes. These two characters share so many similarities that they can be perceived as the same person. Both protagonists have entered the real world where independence is vital for survival. They underestimate the viciousness of society and enter the world without guidance, both searching for a place of belonging and ultimately finding their true identity.

Igby and Holden are perfect examples of what society has labeled as teenage rebellions and what parents are afraid their children will grow up to be. Drug usage, flunking out of multiple schools and non-conformity towards society are just a few actions that make an individual a ‘bad’ person because of social stigmas; and both characters fit into that bad person image effortlessly. From a strangers perception this facts will create prejudicial views towards these boys but what someone’s external appearance can’t always tell is that person’s inner identity. As proven in both texts, many would simply perceive them as ‘screw ups’ but what both of them are hiding behind the drugs, flunking and rebellion acts is the need to belong to someplace in society.

Belonging is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s life; some may find a place to belong instantaneously whilst others may take a prolonged time. Igby and Holden both find it extremely difficult to find this place to belong in and as a consequence make them have the urge to search and find this place. The reason Holden can’t find his destination is because of his penchant of having a prejudice view on someone and judges him or her by his or her actions and external...
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