The catcher in the rye and the stranger

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Holden Caulfield and Mersault have both been alienated in their worlds as the authors have so clearly portrayed in both books. But as much as both have been alienated, one is an essentialist while the other remains an existentialist. Holden Caulfield being the essentialist that he is, has psychological motivation for every action he takes. He is a teenager that is struggling with the fact that everyone has to grow up, which to him means that you have to become “phony or corrupt”. While on the other hand Mersault, the existentialist, does things for no reason whatsoever. He is a completely aloof, unattached , unemotional person. He doesn’t think much about events or their consequences, nor does he express much feeling in relationships or …show more content…
He feels that he is surrounded by hypocrites in a school filled with fakery. Principal
Thurmur, the principal of Holden’s high school of which he got kicked out of, Pencey, was the leader of the whole charade. During a teacher/parent day, Principal Thurmur would only say hello to the wealthy parents of students. He would not associate himself with those that were not financially stable, because he was fake. So taking into account the way his principal is, it just adds on to his hatred of adults and fear of becoming one.

     Mersault on the other hand, gets alienated from the society in which he lives in which is still the one we live in today. Mersault shows no feelings towards the things that happen to him or the things he does. His own mother died and when he asked his boss for two days off he was wondering if his boss was mad at the fact he took a four day weekend. He even went as far as to tell his boss that it wasn’t his fault. Mersault rarely shows any feeling in situations which would, for most people, elicit strong emotions like in his relationship with Marie Cardona. She asked him to marry her and he responded that it doesn’t matter to him, and if she wants to get married he would agree. She also asked him if he loved her and he responded that marriage isn’t such a serious thing and doesn’t require love.
     In our society, a person like Mersault who

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