Essay Comparison of the Social Network and the Catcher in the Rye

1111 Words Aug 25th, 2013 5 Pages
Extended Study – Comparative Texts

Which techniques do J. D. Salinger and David Fincher use to explore the personal dilemmas of their protagonists, Holden Caulfield and Mark Zuckerberg, in The Catcher in the Rye and The Social Network?

In David Fincher’s The Social Network and J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, a story of two young men, Holden Caulfield and Mark Zuckerberg face many difficulties and ultimately are very vulnerable souls. The dilemmas that Holden and Mark face are alienation, betrayal and identity. Fincher and Salinger both use many techniques in order to highlight these dilemmas, including setting, the theme of friendship/loyalty and symbolism.

Fincher and Salinger both expose their protagonist’s dilemmas of
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Mark, unlike Holden was the character in the narrative to betray a fellow character. Mark allowed or agreed with Sean Parker that Eduardo had to be ‘punished’ for freezing the account linked to the company but in the process betrayed the friendship between himself and Eduardo. Even though Mark may have not been on hundred percent on the decision of dropping Eduardo’s share, he still decided to betray his loyalty of Eduardo by choosing Sean instead, who in the end also betrays Mark. In this case, it seems that most friendships in The Social Network were never meant to survive; all were meant to crash and burn. For Holden, he basically expects most people to betray him, he expects most people to be ‘phoneys’ and expects all innocence to be lost in most children. Holden constantly feels betrayed with most of the other characters in the story, which could definitely be a main cause to his mental problems. Early in the novel, Mr Spencer betrays him. He was one of the few teachers at his school that Holden could relate with and trust. Spencer had told Holden of his expulsion, and Holden felt betrayed by his teacher. When Holden returns home to see Phoebe, his young sister, she is disappointed in him that he had failed to stay in Pency. He thinks that she should accept and be loyal to him unconditionally, so he feels betrayed. This shows that Holden really could not depend on anyone because
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