Comparing Catcher In The Rye And The Kite Runner

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Experiencing loss, and how it indefinitely defines us

Our losses define us as much as our possessions and the environments around us do. Loss can spur on one’s drive to change and redefine themselves, and also holds the power to halt time for said individual. Childhood and early adulthood are the years where worlds begin to change, and oftentimes loss is experienced for the first time. There are novels dedicated to this time in one’s life, the genre called “coming of age.” The Catcher in The Rye and The Kite Runner are some of the most classic books from this genre. Outlining the challenges that teenagers face throughout the toughest times in their lives, one of the most common themes in such stories is loss.

In “The Catcher in the Rye”, the most famous symbol is Holden’s red hunting hat. Holden buys this hat right after losing all of the fencing team’s equipment on the subway. Although buying this hat, was purely on a whim, it represents Holden’s values. It can be seen that Holden’s hat represents how he wishes to keep his individuality and uniqueness that he believes comes with being a child, as he believes adults are “phony” and the all the same. It is also refreshing to see how Holden loves this hat so much.
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The events of The Catcher In the Rye begin at Pencey School, and then go to New York, where Holden stays for a weekend before heading home. At the end of the novel, it is shown that Holden has been writing from a mental institution. Despite living in a comfortable home and having a caring family and upbringing, Holden has a hard time coping with his brother Allie’s death, and spirals out of control. Whenever the subject of Allie comes up in the novel, Holden rambles about his younger brother, obsessing over him. “They were going to have [him] psychoanalyzed and all, because [he] broke all the windows in the garage” (Salinger, 50) on the night that Allie

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