Distinguishing minds in their own isolations
J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye is widely recognized as one of the most self-destructive novels ever written. The novel’s protagonist Holden Caulfield is known for his anti-social behavior and his self-loathing, self-isolating character in the book. Holden’s traits could widely be compared to Napoleon Dynamite the protagonist of the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite directed by Jared Hess. Napoleon is characterized by his clichéd “school nerd” behavior and of course his own self-isolating habit just like Holden. Like Holden, Napoleon tries to put down people to isolate him from others. But even though Holden and Napoleon are alike on how they assume the traits of the people they meet, they are very much different on how they perceive their own isolated worlds.
Holden tends to long for people he had bonded with before while Napoleon is very much comfortable being isolated. Even though Holden likes to be by himself, he also misses the company of others who was once in his life. “About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about… It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” (Salinger, 214). Holden longs for the people whom he told the reader about and explains that Holden is the type to miss his old friends even though he likes to isolate himself from them or even society. Napoleon on the other
hand does not like to be with anyone else but himself. Napoleon does not like school because he has to be around with people. “Grandma: How was scool? Napoleon: The worst day of my life what do you think?” (Hess, Grandma/ Napoleon). Napoleon thinks negatively of school which explains that he is not fond of studying in classes or anything to do with socializing outside of his own home or comfort zone. Holden and Napoleon are both different when it comes to being alone. They each have their own reaction to being with people and being left alone. Holden and...
Cited: Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. (1951)
Napoleon Dynamite. Dir. Jared Hess. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Paramount Pictures. 2004. Film.
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