Essay Comparing The Great Gatsby And Catcher In The Rye

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Both Gatsby and Holden undergo crisis and eventual collapse. Compare and contrast the presentation of anguish and the developing crises in ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. The Catcher in the Rye opens with its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, refusing to divulge any personal information about himself, his childhood, or his parents, claiming that they’d have about “two haemorrhages apiece” if he did. Holden’s refusal to discuss his past mirrors the way Gatsby went to great lengths to escape his own meagre beginnings. However, Gatsby avoids revealing details to Nick about his origins because he ultimately wants to forget them, whilst Holden’s main goal is to preserve the memories he has of his. In their respective novels, Gatsby and Holden are…show more content…
For Holden, his alternate perspective is fuelled by his inability to accept his impending future and for Gatsby, it is his inability to move on from the past that alienates him from the rest of society. One of Holden’s main preoccupations – and crises – in The Catcher in the Rye is the protection of innocence. He views children as the only individuals that remain untainted by the cruelty and vulgarity of the adult world. This belief is what motivates him to reject all forms of development and prompts him to continue to find ways to relive his younger years. One of the ways Holden does this is with the child-like repetition of the question ‘where do the ducks go during the winter?’ Despite never getting an answer to his query, Holden seems to obtain some form of comfort from the idea of the ducks disappearing in the colder months and returning once again in spring. It’s possible that this question represents his interest in the circle of life. This is due to how the schedule of the ducks adheres to the premise that being gone isn’t always necessarily permanent, which, after taking into account his brother Allie’s death, would explain Holden’s
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