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Essay on First Person Narrative - Christopher and Holden

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Axelle Rigaudy English 9AB Mr Hambley 27 October 2004 Essay on First Person Narrative Christopher and Holden Holden from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D Salinger and Christopher from "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon are both two very interesting first person narrators in many different ways. Holden is a 17years old boy having difficulty staying in schools more than 6 months because he doesn't work enough and Christopher is 15 years old and has asperger's syndrome. This means that he has no feelings. The narrators are similar in some ways for example in the way of talking; they both have a restricted vocabulary. But there are more differences than similarities for instance Holden's favourite subject is English because he is creative and Christopher prefers math and science since he seems to like facts. Their lives are very different and this is proven in their totally opposite personalities. Even though Christopher and Holden have semblances, Holden's creativity and personality makes him a more appealing narrator. Although Christopher has a unique way of talking, we can relate more to Holden's vocabulary and diction, which makes the reader understand him better. When looking at the similarities, both of these first person narrators make detailed descriptions, but usually on very different topics. ...read more.


Christopher is more of a scientific mathematic person because he very easily remembers facts and figures "I know all the countries of the world and their capital city and every prime number up to 7,507." ("The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")(2) or "Mostly, I read books about science and math."("The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")(5). On the other hand Holden's interest is more in English because he can be creative "That sonuvabitch Hartzell thinks you're a hot-shot in English" ("The Catcher in the Rye")(14). Christopher, on the contrary of Holden doesn't have a social life. Christopher due to his illness, doesn't feel comfortable with other humans. He prefers dogs because they do not have complicated emotions and he can understand them better "I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating. Also dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they can't talk."("The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")(4). People have too many feelings that Christopher cannot understand. When we think about this, we find out that we can only consider him as partly human; we can even compare him with a robot. On the other hand, Holden is a very social person. ...read more.


The author of each narrator used many techniques to make that voice realistic. Holden and Christopher, because they are so different, will never talk about the same things. Holden and Christopher have detailed descriptions but on different topics. Holden uses an everyday vocabulary but Christopher's is very plain because he uses no swear words, no slang, etc... As I said, one of their greatest differences is their interest and they are at the complete opposite. It is the same with their social life. Holden is social and Christopher is antisocial. The life that they have lived has affected their personality. Christopher doesn't try to understand people by himself, he will need to ask and if he still doesn't understand he will walk away. Holden has no problem at interpreting emotions but he hates people who hide them, "phoney people". Though Christopher as a narrator is a very interesting and original point view, his illness makes his personality, his way of talking, his lack of imagination and of understanding people makes him monotonous and uninteresting. Holden is a narrator we can relate with because he is a teenager and sometimes we can recognize his thoughts as our own. Christopher is also to far away from us, it is impossible to relate to him, he is too robot like. Although both narrators are very interesting, I can relate to one and not the other and this makes him a better narrator. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 ...read more.

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