English Speech Essay

Submitted By etanamann
Words: 1044
Pages: 5

A journey is an idea that can vary from one physically voyaging or one experiencing an internal trip. We delve deep into emotions that cause some of the greatest, yet some of the most unbearable times in our lives. Without taking a risk in life, how could one pursue their desires and passions? The protagonists of each text encounter a challenge, changing their view on the world and essentially, they experience a form of self-discovery. “Catcher in The Rye” written by J.D Salinger, is a recount of Salinger’s journey through New York, and the internal experience throughout his adolescence. The concept of the protagonist in Catcher in The Rye, Holden Caulfield, finding his true self through a physical journey, is compared to T.S Eliot’s, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” The poem focuses on the notion of Prufrock’s persona who can see the potential in life, but is unable to act on his desires because of self-doubt.

Have you ever held back on a opportunity in your life, and have gone back and realised you should have taken it? Throughout life, some journeys may not be desired, but by taking them, the outcome can be valuable. Yet in some cases, it could be the cause of self-reproach. Holden sets his mind on the idea that he is superior in comparison to all the “phonies” around him, leading him to alienate and isolate himself from the outside world. Holden quotes, “It was the Saturday of the football game. […] I remember around three o'clock that afternoon I was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill.” Holden demonstrates typical teenage feelings of being alienated. He rejects the idea that life is a game, “Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hotshots are, then it’s a game, but if you get on the other side, where there aren’t any hotshots, then what’s a game about it? Nothing. No game.” He clearly identifies with those on the “other side” of the game, and he feels alone and victimized, as though the world is against him. As the novel progresses, we begin to perceive that Holden’s alienation is his way of protecting himself. He wears his hunting hat to symbolize his uniqueness, as well as using his isolation as proof that he is better than everyone else around him, refusing to make strong connections with them. The truth is that interactions with other people usually overwhelm him, and his cynical sense of superiority serves as a type of defence, disallowing him to experience and find his inner self.

Similarly, Prufrock displays an aligning perspective whereby the sense of unwillingness limits one to live life to its potential. Throughout the poem there are images of restriction and entrapment such as Prufrock quoting “It is impossible to say just what I mean!” This suggests that it is impossible to have an opinion around the people he is surrounded by, because he is different. This creates the main idea in the poem where Prufrock is constantly self-conscious of his own actions and presentation of self and the need to act in accordance with social expectations. These factors restrict him, forcing him to behave in socially set ways and eventually resulting in him alienating himself from his others. The idea of not being able to persist through life due to self-doubt and discouragement is an ongoing concept throughout the two texts, leading both the protagonists to a downfall. With taking a journey comes change. Throughout life, there will be many paths that will be taken with confidence or hesitation, and the outcome will be uncertain until you take the risk. As Catcher in The Rye progresses, it becomes evident that Holden's fear controls his life and his cynical view of the adult world keeps him from moving forward. Holden's connection to The Museum of Natural History demonstrates his need for things to remain the same. Holden says, “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move.... Nobody’d be different. The only