Catcher In The Rye Vs. Don Quixote Essay

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J.D. Salinger’s TheCatcher in the Rye can be compared to Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Both novels feature naive protagonists pining for an ideal world. In Salinger’s novel, Holden Caulfield is a sixteen year old who experiences challenging and questionable events in the mid-stage of his adolescence. Holden wants to protect the innocent children like “the catcher in the rye” from the immorality and corruptness of the “phony” adult world. In Cervantes work, Don Quixote is the idealistic protagonist who sets out to transform the world in accordance to his medieval vision. His growing obsession with stories of knighthood and books of chivalry leads him to abandon his former life and become a wandering knight set out to right the world’s wrongs.…show more content…
As Holden was walking up the stairs he sees “ fuck-you ” written on the wall and rubs it off with his hand. Then, later as he is going down a different staircase he sees the same phrase on the wall, but this time scratched in with a knife so he can’t efface it. At that moment, he thought that there would be millions of signs just like that one in the world. There was no way he could eradicate all of them. Even in the peace of the Egyptian tomb room at the museum there is a“fuck-you”written in crayon. At this point, he is hopeless and realizes that his dreams are unattainable. In the carousel scene with Phoebe Holden reluctantly accepts the fact that everyone loses his or her innocence. While on the carousel, Phoebe joins the other kids in trying to grab for the gold rings. Although Holden is afraid that she will fall off the horse, he realizes that he can’t stop her. He states, “The thing is with kids is; if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it’s bad if you say anything to them.” Similarly, Cervantes’ Don Quixote portrays an idealistic protagonist who sets out to transform the world in accordance to his medieval vision. The novel opens by briefly describing the main character’s fascination with chivralic stories. He dreams for the way things were in the times of knights and the code of chivalry. Even though he lived in the Renaissance Era, he decided to turn his dream into

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