The Catcher in the Rye vs. Looking For Alaska

1807 Words Apr 22nd, 2014 8 Pages
Looking For Alaska vs. The Catcher in the Rye Many parallels can be drawn between the main protagonists in John Green's Looking for Alaska, and J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Although these two coming of age novels differ greatly in setting and in circumstance, many of the broader, more fundamental themes in each are actually quite similar. John Green was very much influenced by J.D. Salinger, and even admitted that Miles "Pudge" Halter in Looking For Alaska, was based largely off of Holden Caulfield, the main character in Catcher in the Rye. In reading the two books, this statement becomes less and less difficult to believe as we see ignorance, rebellion against authority, death, isolation, and eventually maturity, and …show more content…
In a conversation with her after she passes, he says, "You can't just make me different then leave. (…) Because I was fine before, Alaska. I was fine with just me and last words and school friends, and you can't just make me different and then die." (Looking For Alaska, p. 172). It's interesting that Miles seems to personify Alaska throughout the rest of the book after she's dead, much like Holden does in The Catcher in the Rye. Although the reader never meets Holden's little brother, Allie Caulfield, we sure do hear a lot about him throughout the book. He died of leukemia on July 18, 1946, when he was eleven and Holden was thirteen. He describes the dark memory to the reader by saying, "I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the goddam windows in the garage. I don't blame them. I really don't. I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist just for the hell of it." (The Catcher in the Rye, p. 50). It's clear that Holden and Miles have in common that they can't just move on when dealing with a death, but they have to heal and take their time to work it out. Holden and Miles both individually deal with isolation in their respective circumstances, Miles experiences it post Alaska Young's sudden death, and Holden goes through it merely being on his own. Some time after Alaska's funeral, Miles speaks to Takumi for the
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