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Analytical Comparison- Theme of rejection in Huck Finn and Catcher in the Rye

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AS English Literature and Language The Analytical Comparison - The Theme of Rejection The extract from The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger consists of the protagonist ?Holden? catching a train from Pencey, the school he?s just been kicked out of, to New York. On the train he speaks to a schoolmate?s mother and creates a new personality under the name of ?Rudolf Schmidt?. The extract is an example of how Holden rejects society and his opinion of himself. By confidentially and continually lying about his own name, his opinion on a schoolmate and many other details, it?s one of the first obvious cases of Holden?s bleak self-perception. Holden goes about lying in a way that suggests it?s fun for him, as he says he starts ?shooting the old crap around?. I chose this extract because it is, in my opinion, a perfect illustration of Holden?s immense rejection of himself and society. The extract from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain involves the protagonist ?Huckleberry? going into a town to find information about the situation he?s in. He also tries to obtain the gossip of what?s going on around the ?murder? of Huck and the disappearance of Jim. ...read more.


Huck?s ?M-Mary Williams? and Holden?s ?Rudolf Schmidt? are both revealed to the reader and the other person in the conversation in the first part of both extracts. Holden has more control over his lies as he?s the one that?s causing it to progress, solely for entertainment purposes and his rejection of society?s rules is by choice and to simply humour himself. Huck on the other hand has no control over where his lies take him in this scenario and it?s probable that he didn?t want it to progress any further. He doesn?t at any point in the novel lie for entertainment, but only practical reasons, as when he lies to Judith his lying in this extract is just to get information so that he can help to keep his and Jim?s freedom. Huck?s rejection of society?s rules are more of a demand and although it?s not the best way to deal with it, become completely necessary. The second part of each extract is the point in which the lies begin to take off and become the start of a crescendo. Holden begins ?shooting the old crap? whereas Huck begins to get anxious as he wishes he wasn?t there. The crescendo of lies represents rejection as again they?re beginning to consciously, whether they want to or not, deny and get further away from their actual personalities, rejecting themselves, their portrayal of themselves and how they want others to perceive them. ...read more.


As Holden assumes nearly everything in the world is pure phoniness, he really tries to ensure some validity when he means something with the word ?really?, even if he is lying. Huckleberry?s minor sentences and short responses such as ?yes?m? when he?s responding to Judith indicate his nervousness and inferiority. He feels immoral and anxious about lying and shows this by attempting to be as quiet as possible. In conclusion, I chose these extracts as I believe that they both portray the theme of rejection on a level of different ways, mainly how Twain describes (with an unfailing wit and brilliantly communicated language and dialect) how a young boy in the 1840s lied about his identity as was required to save his life, yet still rejecting the morals and rules of the society he lived in. This is opposed to Salinger?s description of an older boy in the post?World War 1950s who lives in a society that?s brimming with social rules. He is rejecting the morals and the importance of social norms within society for no other reason than his own personal pleasure; in spite of him knowing that it was morally wrong and mentions to the reader of his guilt. I found that the structure of both extracts and the crescendo of their lies represent and reflect the rejection of themselves and others in their own individual society. ...read more.

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