Ordinary People vs. the Catche

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Ordinary People Vs. The Catcher in the Rye

In this paper I intend to show how the loss of a brother can have the same effects on two different people like Holden Caulfield and Conrad Jarrett. Both of their lives are turned upside down after the difficult loss of a family member. In the book Ordinary People, Conrad Jarrett has a good life and loving family when his brother dies in a sailboating accident. Conrad feels lost and confused and he attempts to take his own life as a way out. He spends eight months in a mental institution and when he comes out he discovered he is a completely different person and has the realization that his old definition of normality no longer applies. A once-unified family splits into three guarded, isolated members who can no longer share anything with one another. Dr. Tyrone C. Berger helps Conrad by taking him back through the death of his brother and anguish of life without Buck, his older brother and idol. He teaches Conrad and his family that love, openly shared, is the only thing they can count on to give them strength for the test they call life. In Catcher in the Rye, Holden loses his brother Allie at a young age just like Conrad. He cannot find a meaning in life afterwards. School and friends don’t matter to him anymore and he wanders through the city of New York searching for some kind of answer. In both books the characters are teenagers and still full of youth. Conrad is on the swim team and participates in activities while Holden is great at English and is a keen observer of life. After their brothers’ death they realize that they are not the same people anymore and that they have to start all over. They are struggling just to make it through the day and to find motivation to keep going. Conrad lays in bed in the morning thinking of a reason to get up, he tries to come up with a guiding principle to help him get through the day. He says to himself, “It’s all right to...
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