Monday, December 26, 2011

Catcher in the Rye

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What have you learnt about ‘rebels’ from your area of study?

In this area of study ‘rebels’, one has learnt, from many different sources of media; reading, viewing and writing. In this text the composer will be focusing on three different mediums, to help the reader understand the meaning of rebellion A poem “walk away” written by Mary Phillips. This poem express’s growing up in a rebellious fashion. The movie “10 Things I Hate About You” Directed by Gil Junger the main focus of this movie is conformity. And a short story called “chalk and cheese” by Jeffery Archer from the collection of short stories to cut a long story short. This story represents phoniness. These three mediums are all related to the book “Catcher in the Rye” written by J.D Salinger. These mediums will aid the consumer to comprehend the concept of rebellion.

When studying the book “The Catcher in the rye” the reader can learn many things from the author as he expresses the rebellious feelings an adolescent can adopt against the fact of growing up. Holden Caulfield (the main character in the book) sees childhood as the ideal state of being. He thinks adulthood is filled with corruptness. The only way anyone can win in the adult world is if the cards are stacked in his favour. The characters in 'The Catcher in the Rye' play a diverse set of roles in the rebellion between childhood and adulthood.

Children do not think of appearances very highly, but in order to be respected in the adult world you must always look your best. Holden did not care what people thought about him as long as he felt good. He would wear his red hunting cap backward. He also would have his hair cut in a crew cut style, which is thought of as a kid’s haircut.

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Holden fears change in maturity. He believed that being an adult is hard, however he tries to be an adult by going to the lavender room and wanting to loose his virginity. However, he doesn’t succeed and doesn’t fit in. When Holden and Maurice fought between each other, Holden just broke down and cried. He couldn’t handle the situation. That meant he wasn’t ready for adulthood after all. After the fight, Holden felt lonely and depressed, he started talking to Allie believing that he was near. At that point he wanted to escape adulthood by committing suicide.

He thought that once one dies, they would never have to grow up, they’ll be carefree and maintain in their own state.

At the museum which Holden visited occasionally he realized the morals of growing up. The museum was the only place that he actually liked and enjoyed going to. He found that the museum was a place where there are no changes and brought back childhood memories. He liked the fact that it didn’t change, “They were always showing Columbus, nobody gave a damn about old Columbus, but you always had a lot of candy and stuff with you….” “Then, just before you went inside the auditorium, right near the doors, you passed this Eskimo. The best thing, though is in that museum everyone always stayed right where it was. Nobody ‘d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finishing catching those two fish. Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different is you.” This was when he realizes that life moves forward. When Holden showed the two boys where the Egyptian section was, the two boys were afraid and ran back but Holden continued to walk forward. This was a sign that Holden was ready to move on and enter adulthood and so does everyone else. This was a change in Holden’s morals of growing up.

When reading the Book 'The Catcher in the rye' one has learnt that growing up as a teenager is a very difficult time in a person's life and that life moves forward even though the only thing one might want is to stay young.

The poem that relates to this book the best is “walk away”. There are many relationships between J.D Salinger’s book and the poem.

The author of the poem has written about a boy/man who is waiting for his date. When she arrives late, he doesn’t accept the fact that she is late and steps in his car and drives off.

This relates to the book in the sense that Holden did similar actions to girls and others. On the arranged date which Holden had organized with Sally, although she is a very attractive young girl, after a few hours of being with her, Holden decides she is very superficial and phoney, Holden of all people can not stand this and tells her to leave which results in making her cry.

In both texts the young mans characters won’t be led astray by other people and stand their ground when they don’t like the actions of some one else. This shows a sign of growing up. In this poem the composer is rebellious in not wanting to wait for the girl. He shows an immaturity; it could also be that he might be afraid of having a relationship with the girl which might have caused his reaction. He is definitely not a caring person and rebels towards having a relationship with the other sex.

As mentioned previously there are three rebellious parts to the book that Holden under goes. Conformity plays a large role in “Catcher in the Rye”.

Conformity was a key element of American attitudes in the 1950’s. Even at “Pencey prep” the idea of conformity was crucial to the school life. Everyone looked the same, acted the same and even spoke the same. However Holden doesn’t conform. He acts as an individual rather than as part of a group. Holdens individualistic attitude is especially evident and important while he is in school but is also noticeable throughout the rest of the novel. Salinger uses the conformity principle to place Holden in a different place to everybody else. It makes everyone except Holden to have a robotic outlook on life whereas Holden does what he thinks is the right attitude on life.

From the book "Catcher in the Rye" one can see that it has very similar conformist aspects to the movie “Ten things I hate about you”.

The film is not only a sweet and romantic teen-comedy but also very similar issues of conformity to J.D Salinger’s book.

To commence the movie, we are introduced to the sisters Katarina and Bianca, who are quite different as to their temperaments. While the first one is a rebellious and tempestuous girl a heinous bitch according to Ms. Perky, her sister is a popular hottie at Padua High School. Their overprotective father decides that Bianca is not allowed to date until her older sister does.

Therefore Biancas would be suitors are bound to find someone who is tough enough to date Kat. Luckily, Patrick Verona, who is new at Padua High School seems to be as scary as Kat and they are convinced he would be the perfect match for her.

Katarina and Holden have very similar attributes when it comes to conforming. Both of these characters do not like to stick to the norm. They wear their cloths unkempt, do not socialize with others to well and don’t always say the appropriate things, conformed people would expect.

One obvious link lies in the naming of characters and the setting at Padua High School. Some characterizations parallel, for example. Kat’s “moody, complicated character” exhibits the traditional “terrific amount of raging energy”, and she “definitely has all the incorrigible spirit required of the shrewish Kat”. All this characterizations are very similar to the ones Holden adopted in the book “Catcher in the Rye”

Phoniness, which is probably the most famous phrase from 'The Catcher in the Rye', is one of Holdens favourite concepts. It is his catch-all for describing the superficiality, hypocrisy, pretension, and shallowness that he encounters in the world around him. In Chapter , just before he reveals his fantasy of the catcher in the rye, Holden explains that adults are inevitably phonies, and, whats worse, they cant see their own phoniness. Phoniness, for Holden, stands as an emblem of everything thats wrong in the world around him and provides an excuse for him to withdraw into his cynical isolation.

Though oversimplified, Holdens observations are not entirely inaccurate. He can be a highly insightful narrator, and he is very aware of superficial behaviour in those around him. Throughout the novel he encounters many characters who do seem affected, pretentious, or superficial Sally Hayes, Carl Luce, Maurice and Sunny, and even Mr. Spencer stand out as examples. Some characters, like Maurice and Sunny, are genuinely harmful. But although Holden expends so much energy searching for phoniness in others, he never directly observes his own phoniness. His deceptions are generally pointless and cruel and he notes that he is a compulsive liar. For example, on the train to New York, he perpetrates a mean-spirited and needless prank on Mrs. Morrow. Hed like us to believe that he is a paragon of virtue in a world of phoniness, but that simply isnt the case. Although hed like to believe that the world is a simple place, and that virtue and innocence rest on one side of the fence while superficiality and phoniness rest on the other, Holden is his own counterevidence. The world is not as simple as hed like and needs it to be; even he cannot adhere to the same black-and-white standards with which he judges other people.

Phoniness in the book “Catcher in the Rye” has a very strong relevance to the short story written by Jeffery Archer, Chalk and Cheese.

In this story two brothers as different as chalk and cheese, start their adult live on two different paths one becoming a business man and the younger one becoming an artist, very much admired by their mother. As the artist shows off unsuccessful exhibition after exhibition his quiet brother slowly works his way up the executive ladder, but mother and friends only show respect to the budding artist. The businessman not being capable of seeing what others see in his brother’s paintings is buying art books to help him learn about art. This way he becomes an art lover and buys many valuable paintings. When the older brother dies, the younger one is very greedy about the inheritance. The will is read, which says “that out of the collection the younger brother will receive paintings, which should allow him to live in a style worthy of his talent”. As the delivery man comes with the paintings he stares in shock at 1 one of his own art work. This relates to J.D Salingers book, by Holden always criticizing everyone of being phoney but not realizing him self he was heading down the same track. In Jeffery Archers story the artist never realized how phoney he was until he stood in front of his own paintings which where of no value.

In conclusion J.D Salinger and the poet Mary Phillips have described the period of growing up as a difficult and confusing time in ones life. The story “Catcher in the Rye” as well as the movie “Ten things I hate about You” both show the reader and viewer that the easy path of conforming is not always the best. For achieving higher goals you have to be an individualist. As between the two texts by J.D Salinger and Jeffery Archer phoniness should be detected by one self before going to far.

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