Honors Project Literary analysis

Honors Project Literary analysis - Jake Venditto Ms....

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Jake Venditto 3/1/09 Ms. Lieberman Literary Analysis Essay Throughout many works of literature authors choose themes that people can relate to, and even sometimes possess themselves. The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey , by J.D. Salinger, deal with the complexities of reality which can alter how people view the world. Throughout these two novels there is a controlling theme of self alienation. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye , and Franny, from Franny and Zooey find life to be difficult and confusing. J.D. Salinger’s characters feel they are better off not dealing with the complexities at all. Both characters choose to alienate themselves from personal relationships and society. Salinger alienates the characters in similar ways. Both Holden and Franny separate themselves from other people by their bitter attitudes and disgust for phoniness. Holden’s self alienation is due to his low self esteem and his struggle with the loss of his brother. Holden is always second guessing his judgment and projects his insecurities to the world. Franny separates herself partly because of her religious callings. She is expected to act according to her family’s expectations, but internally she feels much differently. Although the two are in very different situations, they both feel that they are on the losing side in the game of life. J.D. Salinger writes these two novels with a similar theme of self alienation brought about by the characters bitterness towards phony people, in order to cope with the complexities, and unfortunate events of life. Holden is a sixteen-year-old junior who has been expelled from Pencey Prep for academic failure. However, Holden is intelligent and sensitive, but is uncomfortable in
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his own skin. Holden’s bitterness is due to the lack of self-confidence from his many failures and disappointments in life. Holden’s sarcastic attitude and bitterness is used as a defense mechanism to protect him from the complexities of life and to separate him-self from the phonies of the world. One way Holden has difficulty dealing with life’s complexities is when he speaks with his history teacher, Old Spencer. Spencer is trying to tell Holden that he needs to play the game of life better in order for his life to run more smoothly. Holden needs to follow the rules in order to fit in better with society and in any social situations. “Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules. Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it’s a game. But if you get on the other side…then what’s a game about it. Nothing. No game” (8). Holden does not like this idea of life being a game. Holden makes reference to the other side which is the so called hot-shots. He has no connection to this group of people, whom he feels are successful in the game of life and they tend to act in a phony way. Salinger made it seem as if Holden is referring to himself as being on that side, the
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Honors Project Literary analysis - Jake Venditto Ms....

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