Asher Lev: Compare And Contrast Essay

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Holden Caulfield and Asher Lev are the two primary protagonists in the books The Cather in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. They can relate with each other because they are both impacted by the past. Throughout the book, while Asher remembers his childhood and his parents, Holden retells the story of his life a few months prior to the beginning of the book. Holden tells the cynicism he felt when he was thrust into adulthood all alone and Asher reveals his journey to be an artist. One can assume that no matter what happens in the future, the past will always hold significance to Asher and Holden. One of the earliest memories that both Asher and Holden share are death. Asher lost his uncle, his mother’s brother, and Holden lost his younger brother Allie. Both of the protagonists can relate to death. Asher’s childhood memories consist of his mother being sick and how much he had to grow up. As a child, a person is expected to make mistakes and learn from them. With his father being engaged with work and his mother’s illness, Asher matured fast. Towards the…show more content…
He believed Asher had a true gift and he taught Asher how to use it. For most of his childhood, Asher was limited. His mother asked him to paint only pretty and beautiful things and his father preferred if he didn’t paint at all. In a way, Asher Lev was in purgatory. To make Asher realize how important his art was to him, he said that he couldn’t abandon the things that were meaningful like his “doubts and my fears. And my art” (Potok 260). Likewise, Holden was limited as well. He felt it was a waste to go to school. As he told his sister later on, the only thing he wanted to do with his life was to be the “catcher in the rye”. Holden thinks that he was wronged because he was thrust into adulthood and therefore he feels that it is his job to protect the virtue of others before they free fall into adulthood like he
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