Comparison Essay Between Catcher in the Rye and Death of a Salesman

1229 Words Sep 24th, 2008 5 Pages
Pressures In Human Society

A common idea presented in literature is the issue of the freedom of the individual in the constant pressures of society. In the play “Death of a Salesman” by,
Arthur Miller, Willy Loman is a good example of this, as well as a sixteen year old boy named Holden Caulfield in the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by, J.D Salinger. They are both men living in a controlling society, and feel it is too hard to keep up with all of the expectations. Holden is always looking at the world in a negative way, pointing out the negativity in everyone, and everything around him. Willy on the other hand is an old man with two children, who is constantly pressuring his son Biff Loman to
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Willy feels the need to provide materialistic things for his family, but doesn’t have the money to do it. . “Nothing’s planted. I don’t have a thing in the ground.” (Willy, A. Miller, page 122, 1949) This was a quote stated by Willy, referring to seeds; Willy felt that as long as he could provide little things such as seeds, then those things would grow into something bigger and better for Linda, Biff, and Happy and then they would be happier.

In comparisonthere is another novel The Catcher in the Rye where there is a character named Holden Caulfield. Holden is a sixteen year old boy who has had a different life growing up. He has parents who he barely ever sees and feels completely unattached to, a brother who prostitutes his writing talents for movies in Hollywood, and a younger sister named Phoebe who is the only person he is somewhat caring towards. Holden is a pessimistic teenager. Holden has been kicked out of many of his private schools, he does not try at all in school, and he has no friends. Holden feels the constant pressure to do well, and he hates it, he believes everyone else is phony for wanting to become something they don’t want to become, which is why he tries to rebel by getting kicked out of all of his schools. “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
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