Huckleberry Finn and Holden
Self-discovery is the idea of understanding or knowledge of oneself. Discovering individuality is something that most people face at some point in their lives and the outcome can varies. Self-discovery usually occurs during adolescence. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye are both examples of coming of age novels. The main characters, Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield, both experience the journey of self-discovery. These experiences lead to their awareness of identity. Huck is trying to find a purpose, and an identity through conflicting of morals, while Holden is an adolescent struggling to find maturity going into manhood. Although Huck and Holden come from different time periods and backgrounds, they are both excluded from society and are united in their struggle against understanding social values. Holden, a seventeen year old surrounded by topics such as sex, alcohol, and growing up in the urban culture of the 1940s. However, Holden’s identity is different from those around him because he chooses not to accept the views and ideas that surround him and instead, lives on his own opinions of what is important. This is proven by his failure to stay in school, his conflicts with adult authority provides an example for his isolation from society. Whereas Huckleberry Finn is a product of the 18th century where slavery is a horrifying issue. Huck’s perception of the world he lives in causes him to question his society and the adults who attempt to mold him. One of the most important similarities between The Catcher in the Rye and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the method by which the authors used the protagonists as a means to comment on the society of the day. Both works feature the adolescent runaways as narrators, B.Reynolds 2
each commenting on problems of their times. Holden is excessively judgmental, setting him apart from Huck, who in comparison was much more descriptive than...
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