Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey

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Director Robert Zemeckis once stated, “We don't function well as human beings when we're in isolation.” This quotation pertains to the protagonists in both The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger. Both protagonists overcome estrangement when they learn from their siblings the underlying reason behind their feelings of isolation. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield fails to form a connection with others at Pencey Prep and escapes to New York City in an attempt to overcome his alienation. Similarly, in Franny and Zooey, Franny Glass seeks religion to cope with her social isolation at college. Initially, both characters are isolated from their peers because their judgmental attitudes make them unable to form a…show more content…
As each novel progresses, both protagonists seek instant pleasure in attempt to escape from their isolation, but their desperation for comfort leads to their deteriorating health. Holden attempts to escape his feelings of alienation by going to New York City, but in his desperate attempt to connect with others, his overall health worsens. Struggling with his loneliness, he reluctantly agrees to have a prostitute come to his room at the hotel: “I was feeling so depressed I didn’t even think” (Catcher 91). Holden’s desperation has made him travel from Pencey Prep, in Pennsylvania, all the way to New York City to escape his feeling of isolation from his fellow students. Even though it goes against his moral values about sex, he desperately reaches out to anyone who might be willing to ease his loneliness, and that leads him to accept the offer of letting a prostitute come to his hotel. Although once she arrives, he feels insecure and refuses to have sex. The prostitute is a symbol of instant gratification that Holden initially thought he wanted to comfort his isolation, but ends up feeling too insecure to have sex because the prospect that his first sexual experience would be with a prostitute depresses him. When Holden refuses to pay the extra charge that the prostitute requests, she gets annoyed and calls her “boss,” Maurice. Eventually, this situation results in Holden being assaulted. After this beating, Holden feels like he is at his

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