Comparative Essay - Catcher in the Rye vs. Igby Goes Down

1552 Words Mar 27th, 2005 7 Pages
Comparative Essay

The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger and Igby Goes Down by Burr Steers are both displayed as rites of passage texts. The respective protagonists of these two texts are Igby Slocumb and Holden Caulfield. These two characters are both on a journey motif, a journey of self discovery in which they both attempt to find meaning in life and understand societies values and attitudes. The two protagonists demonstrate non-conformity and rebel against the apparent hypocrisy present in their respective societies. Hypocrisy can be defined as the difference between illusion and reality, in accordance to society it can be seen as people who are not who they appear to be, people who apply a façade. This hypocrisy is present in
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The presence of this red hunting hat mirrors the central idea present in the text. Holden's need for alienation versus his need for companionship, which in a sense is a paradoxical statement, as in order to achieve acceptance through companionship, isolation of one's self must be eliminated. Another key symbol in The Catcher In The Rye is the museum of natural history. Holden mentions how he loves the museum and subconsciously desires society to mirror the ideals of this museum. This is present through the quote "The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. . . . Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.". The responder, earlier in the novel, has already experienced that Holden can't deal with conflict, confusion, and change. The museum presents him with a vision of life he can understand, a life that is frozen, silent, and always the same. The museum is perceived as Holden's safe haven from hypocrisy and criticism. What is witnessed in the museum is factual and does not illude reality; Holden enjoys visiting the museum because it is in no way deceiving reality. The parallel to this in Igby Goes Down is how the lighting and wardrobe identify Igby to the audience. The use of the scarf always worn around Igby's neck is the equivalent to Holden's red hunting hat, both
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