Twain Wants The Reader To


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twain wants the reader to The catcher in the rye- a stud

It is all Fun and Games until Someone Looses a Rye
Once is a generation, a book is written that transcends reality and humanity .The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, combines a unique style, controversial theme, and thought provoking main character in this perceptive study of the human condition. This postwar novel protests against the loss of innocence and hypocrisy of the era and is the definitive coming of age novel. Salinger constructs a shocking reality, populated by ‘phonies’ and bursting with falsities- a reality that is all too real.

The Catcher in the Rye is the story of a young man's understanding of the world he lives in, and the things he encounters (Lomazoff 3). This work is similar to other famous and influential works of the same nature. For example, Maxwell Geismar sums up the novel as “…an eminently readable and quotable [novel] in its tragicomic narrative of preadolescent revolt. Compact, taut, and colorful, the first half presents in brief compass all then petty horrors, the banalities, the final mediocrity of the American prep school” (Geismar 195). Holden can not understand the purgatory of Pency prep, and futilely escapes from one dark world into darker world of New York City. The second half of the novel raises the intriguing questions and incorporates the deeper meaning of the work (Geismar). Holden sits on the cusp of adulthood, tethering dangerously close to his fate and reality and The Catcher in the Rye is the story of his journey into the adult world. In addition, this novel is similar to other famous works of the same nature. Salinger emulates elements of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Like Huck Finn, The Catcher in the Rye is the story of a young man’s journey into adulthood. Holden journeys into the human condition, Huck likewise seeks out human nature. Huck, like Holden, hates hypocrisy, and fells the need to search for integrity. Similarly, both works start out the same way. Their simple exposition of location and scope draws in the mind, and fastens it securely to the page. Holden’s opening speech is merely a modernized and adapted version of Huck’s. Holden Caulfield strikes many readers as an urbanized version of Huck Finn (Lomazoff 3). In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, things Price Hamlet cannot control dominate his thoughts and life. Like Holden, Hamlet suffers from a mild form of psychological disturbance. Both men cannot come to terms with morality and mortality. Holden is unsure of what happens after death, and confronts his own mortality, much like his Elizabethan counterpart, after an encounter with a vicious pimp:
…But I'm crazy. I swear to God I am. About halfway to the bathroom, I sort of started pretending I had a bullet in my guts. Old Maurice had plugged me. Now I was on the to the bathroom to get a good shot of bourbon or something to steady my nerves and help me really go into action. I pictured myself coming out of the goddamn bathroom, dressed and all, with my automatic in my pocket, and staggering around a little bit. Then I'd walk down stairs, instead of using the elevator. I'd hold on to the banister and all, with this blood trickling out of the side of my mouth a little at a time. What I'd do, I'd walk down a few floors- holding on to my guts, blood leaking all over the place- and then I'd ring the elevator bell. As soon as old Maurice opened the doors, he'd see me with this automatic in my hand and he'd start screaming at me, In this very high-pitched, yellow-belly voice, to leave him alone. But I'd plug him anyway. Six shoots right throw his fat hairy belly. Then I'd throw my automatic down the elevator shaft- after I'd wipe off all the fingerprints and all. Then I'd crawl back to my room and call up Jane and have her come over and bandage up my guts.

These books by dissimilar authors and form different centuries are very different, but their insights into the quirks are humanity and coming of age are universal.

The central theme of The Catcher in ... more

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The Widow Douglas




“The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer, I lit out.”
The aforementioned quote best describes Huck’s philosophy when faced with ties that bind.  He is unable to face the restrictions of life any longer, both emotionally and physically, ad simply releases himself back to what is right.  Hence, one of the most prominent and important themes of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is freedom.  Freedom not only from Huck’s internal struggle between right and wrong, but also from the Widow Douglas and his father, as well as freedom from the societal institutions of government, religion, and prejudices.  
The best example of the internal conflict is Huck’s brief experiences with organized religion.  The teachings by the Widow Douglas of the pathways to heaven are in constant conflict with Huck’s own beliefs.  Because of this, Huck readily rejects the teachings of organized religion, and therefore must often grapple with the undue guilt that this hypocritical hearsay places on him.  Such is the case when Huck must decide on whether to protect the whereabouts of Jim or to do the “Christian” thing and return Miss Watson her “property”.  Although Huck ultimately decides to do what he feels right, the reader is left with a sense that the issue is not completely eradicated from Huck’s conscience.  
Another freedom Huck struggles for is freedom from the two unhealthy family ties he has.  The first being the attempted civilization of Huck by Widow Douglas, and the second being Huck’s desire to escape the wrath of his dangerous and abusive father.  Whereby the Widow Douglas tries to better Huck as a person, Huck’s father tries to drag Huck down to his level.  Because these forces are opposing, Huck is forced to find freedom from each differently.  Huck’s desire to adhere to his personal virtues overpowers his desire to become civilized or to please the Widow Douglas.  In contrast, Huck wants no relationship with his father and, at one point, Huck shows no concern as to whether his father is still alive or not.  Because of his father’s alcoholism and unpredictable behavior, emotional freedom from him is easily achieved by Huck.  Physical freedom, however, is what must be accomplished in the story.  For a boy like Huck, physical constriction is undoubtedly the most miserable condition he could be put in.  At this point in the adventure freedom is not only a desire of Huck’s, but it is a necessity.  Lastly, and possibly most importantly of Huck’s search for freedom is the struggle from the deep-rooted and well-established societal institutions of prejudice at that time.  Of all the societal lessons Huck has fought to learn, the most damaging has been that blacks are not people, which was exemplified in several ways throughout the novel.  One way is through the constant referral to Jim as “property”.  The second and most disturbing way is through the overheard steamboat conversation explaining the wreck with the raft, by which the question of whether or not anyone was hurt was answered with a, “no, killed a nigger, that’s all.”  Because of the friendship developed with Jim, Huck is once again forced to find freedom, this time from the oppressors of freedom and also racism.  Huck quickly finds that he cannot simply ignore it as he did with Widow Douglas, nor can he run as he did with is father.  Huck eventually learns the lesson of racism that even today people must learn; it is not going to go away and it cannot be changed single-handedly, all one can do is to follow their heart and do what they know to be right.
Throughout the novel Huck overcomes numerous obstacles and endures various negative repercussions to attain both emotional and physical freedom, thus unquestionably establishing freedom as a major theme in this work.  Twain’s implied lesson expressed within this theme is that true freedom is essential to happiness.  Twain ends the novel with a frustrated Huck stating; “Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and ... more

twain wants the reader to

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  • W: The catcher in the rye- a stud W: The catcher in the rye- a stud The catcher in the rye- a stud It is all Fun and Games until Someone Looses a Rye Once is a generation, a book is written that transcends reality and humanity .The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, combines a unique style, controversial theme, and thought provoking main character in this perceptive study of the human condition. This postwar novel protests against the loss of innocence and hypocrisy of the era and is the definitive coming of age novel. Salinger constructs a shocking reality, po...
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