Archetypes In Catcher In The Rye

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The book The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger has an interesting plot as it revolves around a sixteen year old boy telling readers about his life and what is happening at the moment. Throughout the book the reader gets a real inside look on how Holden is feeling and how he handles things in his life. Archetypal criticism has to do with the similarities of patterns which include, images, characters and motifs that recur in literature throughout history and different cultures. Archetypal criticism can be used to analyze the main character, Holden Caulfield, from the The Catcher in the Rye because Holden portrays the archetypal character of a struggling, depressed and lonely teenager. Archetypal criticism can also be used to connect Holden’s …show more content…

The song “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Greenday is a prime example of this. When analyzing this song through the archetypal critical lens one can see that the song has to do with a depressed young boy mourning after his father’s death. The song is based around the lead singer’s experience right after he came home from his father’s funeral. The song describes a person wanting to be left alone until September ends; this can connect back to Holden and how he alienates himself, because of his brother’s death, to make sure he doesn’t become to close to people. Holden always finds things that he doesn’t like about people so that he won’t become attached or fully become friends with them. In the song “Wake Me Up When September Ends” the lyrics give off a depressed feeling in the beginning of the song when Greenday sings, “Drenched in my pain again / Becoming who we are / As my memory rests / But never forgets what I lost / Wake me up when September ends” (Greenday). This further connects back to the Catcher in the Rye when Holden remembers his brother’s death and still traumatized over it. This causes Holden to struggle with other things in his life including school and keeping stable relationships. If one were to look at the character of Holden Caulfield and the song “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, they would certainly be able to connect the two through the archetypal criticism …show more content…

When analyzing the article called “Experiencing the Death of a Sibling as an Adolescent” through the archetypal lens one could see that some of the effects of losing a sibling can describe a struggling and depressed teenager. It goes into detail of what they go through and how it can take a turn for the worst. This article connects to the novel because the character Holden is still recovering from the death of his little brother Allie. Even though Holden has gotten older, he still isn’t coping well and turns to negative coping skills. In the article, it describes exactly what Holden is doing; the article states, “At the worst, their grief is pushed underground, and may result in disorders of conduct, such as the use of drugs and alcohol, poor school performance, loneliness, a tendency to withdraw from relationships, low self-esteem, depression, and difficulty in making long-term commitments” (Experiencing). All throughout the book Holden smokes, looks for a way to gain access to alcohol, is lonely and depressed and was even kicked out of school. According to the article Holden is a teenager who is struggling to cope with the loss of his brother. If one were to look at both the novel and this article through the archetypal lens, they would surely be able to see the connection between the

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