AS English Coursework – Analytical Essay
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain has many similarities and differences concerning how they are affected by corrupt societies. I have chosen two extracts from both books which show the theme of rejection; chapter 16 from Huckleberry Finn and chapter 22 from Catcher in the Rye.
The theme of rejection is clear in both novels from the start, Huck is disgusted with the society he is bought up in and experiences in his life and Holden is disgusted with his own society and others. Both novels show rejection from the closest and dearest to both Huck and Holden.
Both main characters are adolescents, runaways from society, seeking independence, growth, and stability in their lives
Both Huck and Holden are compulsive liars, Huck feels the need to exaggerate situations or even make scenarios up just to get help himself out, and Holden lies to get himself out of trouble.
At the beginning of Catcher in the Rye, Holden is expelled from Pencey prep for his refusal to apply himself. He failed four out of five classes and must leave the school once the term finishes. One would think that a young boy would be distraught after being expelled, although Holden doesn’t seem to care and is more concerned by what his are parents is going to think. Society has corrupted Holden’s liking of school, and believes that everyone is his school is phony, even the teachers. According to Holden, he does not want anything to do with the “phonies” of people, even if it mean not attending school at all and therefore showing the rejection of some adult qualities. In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain portrays Huck as a boy who dislikes school also, and