J.D. Salinger's Catcher In The Rye and Burr Steers' Igby Goes Down

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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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It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible.” By Holden admitting to his lying habits, he provides the responder with reason to believe that he applies a façade by expressing false pretences. This quotation also provides the audience with reason to think that Holden is not mentally healthy; this literary technique is called foreshadowing. The rebellious attitudes demonstrated by both Holden and Igby represent their attitudes to the concept of hypocrisy. Igby and Holden have similar values and beliefs which reject this idea of illuding reality. Holden rejects all materialistic value and success which corroborates with Igby’s attitudes in rejecting the American Dream in which his Godfather, D.H., has achieved. Neither of these two characters view, so called success, the way that the rest of society does.

Another aspect of the respective texts is how the two protagonists display their individuality in order to separate themselves from everyone else, they desire to be unique. This perception of reality is articulated through the symbolism in The Catcher In The Rye and the wardrobe and lighting features utilised throughout the movie Igby Goes Down. Holden’s red hunting hat becomes inseparable from the image of Holden. This hat is perceived as a symbol of his uniqueness and personality. The hat is outlandish, and it shows that Holden desires to
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