The Catcher in the Rye and 6 Degrees of Separation

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The human condition is as far from reason and judgement as anything can be, it is what we have tried to explain for centuries and it is still a confusing maze we attempt and pretend to understand. Holden from The Catcher in the Rye and Paul from Six degrees of

Separations help to explore the workings of the human condition, both boys are conflicted with their lives and have difficulty fitting into their society. However these two texts do put the boys in different positions in life, Holden has what Paul desires but it does not give him

the love and care he unknowingly needs. Paul takes on roles that disguise his own traits and turns him into what he believes to be a person nobody can say no to. When he takes on these roles, he embraces it with a passion, his life is insignificant, what matters is the

people whom listen to him with undivided attention, seeing him as a member of the elite and not as a mugged black stranger. However Holden is not able to make this kind of connection with people, for example his friendship with Jane Gallgher did not develop

because he would not let it There are two main themes in the two pieces of text that allow us to better understand the human condition, these are alienation as a form of self-protection and deception. In the late 1940's and early 1950's in America the role of

men and women have been changed greatly. Holden's emotions would not have been voiced carelessly , he would have had to play the role of a sturdy young man to the hilt as he had a wealthy family and a younger sister to care for. Like many young children from

wealthy families Holden was sent away to a boarding school for most of his life, he would have become used to the inderpendence he was given and this is evident when he decided to spend three days by himself in New York. Holden alienates the world to protect his own emotions, he is so afraid of emotional rejection that he has shut himself off from the rest of the world. Holden...
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