What Are The Similarities Between Catcher In The Rye And Bildungsroman

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Individual’s life is a journey of endless traditions that entails confrontation to obtain new perspective and understanding of self and the world. Most often than not, their personal transitions are impacted by others within their social spectrum. Stephen Daldry’s film ‘Billy Elliot and J.D. Salinger’s Bildungsroman novel ‘The catcher in the rye’ explores this notion through Billy and Holden, who are confronted by stereotypes and norms of the society, triggering them break away from the constraints of society and face reality, leading to transformation. Each text explores the composers’ understanding of transition, allowing the audience to learn the importance of overcoming personal barriers and challenges of the world to experience growth …show more content…
In J.D. Salinger’s Bildungsroman ‘The catcher in the rye’, Holden struggles to transition from adolescent to adulthood, opposing the inevitable growth process. Similar to Billy who is challenged by social expectations from his environment, Holden is grown up in a corrupt area, confronted by the human nature of growth and time. However, unlike Billy who influences society’s transitional process, Holden’s transition is impacted and influenced by individuals in society. Instead of maturing into adulthood, Holden rejects the natural ageing process, wishing his life to be like “in that museum” where “everything stayed exactly the same. Nobody’d move…nobody’d be different.” The museum is symbolic of his desire to remain as a child or stay in childish innocence forever because he is “confused and frightened and even sickened by human behaviour” of adults which he refers as ‘phonies’. Holden yet tries to accept the adulthood by experiencing what adults do by ordering “a scotch and soda” but society rejects his attempt, thinking that he is “under twenty one” and won’t sell him “any intoxicating liquor”. This societal rejection impacts his desire to transition and wishes to “just be the catcher in the rye and all”. The metaphorical representation as a catcher in the rye reflects his empathy towards children, belief in uncorrupted youth and desire to be the protector of innocence. This allows the audience to recognise his fantasy of childhood and refusal to face the complexities of the society. However, overtime, he realises the inevitability of ageing process and the experiences he gains from multiple interactions with others allows him to understand and eventually accept. This allows for the transitional process to occur, ultimately engendering change. Similar to Jackie from Billy Elliot, who obtains a wider perspective of the society, Holden becomes part of the society that he rejected by

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