Similarities Between Catcher In The Rye And Looking For Alaska

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“For she had embodied the Great Perhaps—she had proved to me that it was worth it to leave behind my minor life for grander maybes...” (Green 172). “She”, Alaska Young, influences “Pudge” (Miles) on his path to adulthood and partakes in the mischief that occurs on the way. In Looking for Alaska, John Green places the reader in a contemporary boarding school campus where a group of teenages are navigating their way through life. Similarly, J.D. Salinger, in The Catcher in the Rye, introduces the reader to a teenage boy, Holden, who has yet to stay in a boarding school for longer than a year. The novel follows Holden’s three day journey as he figures out what he wants to do with his eminent future. In comparing The Catcher in the Rye and Looking …show more content…

The adversity Holden and Pudge face exemplifies the hardship that come with the theme of coming of age. In each novel, the main character has to deal with the death of a loved one. Holden constantly reminds the reader of his brother Allie. The struggle he faces to cope with this loss is evident in how he deals with situations:”I’d make believe I was talking to my brother Allie…’Allie, don’t let me disappear’” (Salinger 198). Pudge also faces a shocking loss. Alaska unexpectedly dies in a car accident, leaving her friends in a sea of emotions. As he begins to realize what will result of her death, Pudge mentions, “Anger just distracts from the all-encompassing sadness, the frank knowledge that you killed her and robbed her of a future and a life” (Green 153). Her friends feel an enormous amount of guilt as they recall what happened on that infamous night: “We did not say: Don’t drive. You’re drunk” (Green 132). They all feel partly …show more content…

Holden’s most visible concern is avoiding phoniness: “I figured that anybody that hates the movies as much as I do, I’d be be a phony if I let them stick me in a movie short” (Salinger 77). Holden believes that the only way he can stay true to himself is to avoid being drawn into the fraudulent adult world. An important part of the teenage years is the aspect of discovering one’s own character. This is the prime time where one finds his/her true passion. Pudge encounters this same problem of not knowing the direction of his future: “I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails” (Green 49). Pudge discovers that society requires followers as well as leaders. Although he aspires to become a memorable person, Pudge realizes that it is perfectly fine to not be the person he wants to be yet. Moreover, both characters experience events that make them think deeper than the superficiality they are used to. Each experience leads to a revelation about the world around them. Holden, while in the Natural History Museum, grasps the idea of constant change. When examining his favorite exhibit, he tells the reader why he loves it as he does, “Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would

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