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Because of the innumerable similarities between these books, some of which I have neglected to mention, it is possible that the earlier influenced the later. Both books have an innocence that countless readers of both books have enjoyed. It is this feel, this inexplicable essence of the book that binds them closest together.

Holden’s duality in protecting and violating innocence

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Perhaps the most important plot similarity that can be drawn between these two books is the issue of character development. We see David and Holden grow and mature throughout the book, learning from other characters and experiences valuable life lessons.


He is also constantly telling people that he is older than he is. One example would be when he is with Sunny the prostitute and claims to be twenty-two. She catches him though and retorts with “ ‘Like fun you are.’ ” (Salinger 94)

The Catcher in the Rye Essay Catcher in the rye - 515 Words.

I to throw it. At a car that was parked across the street. But I changed my mind. The car looked so nice and white. Then I started to throw it at a hydrant, but that looked too nice and white, too. Finally I didn’t throw anything. All I did was close the window and walk around the room with the snowball, packing it harder. (36)

Language Catcher in the Rye Essay Examples - Sample Essays

Following the creation of the snowball, Holden contemplates whether to chuck it somewhere among the undisturbed winter wonderland that lies before his eyes. After toying with the idea of throwing the snowball at a parked car across the street, he refrains:

Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D

By throwing the snowball into the world, Holden would move the perfectly arranged snow out of place and perhaps blemish the smooth layers of unsullied powder. Holden sees that just as the snowball is stuck outside of its home unsure of how it got there, he is stuck outside of the world that he aches to be a part of. He yearns for friends, for anyone to talk to, but he cannot seem to find anywhere he fits in. Several times throughout the story, Holden comes right out and says how lonely he is. “I felt so lonesome…I almost wished I was dead” (48). Holden wishing that he is dead is a hint to the reader that soon enough, this state of loneliness and isolation will threaten both Holden’s and the snowball’s lives. The fact is, this snowball cannot survive astray from its surroundings. Without its fellow snow around to nurture it and contain the cold it needs to survive, the snowball will melt away. There is a parallel between the snowball melting away when it is not under the right conditions and Holden having a breakdown when he is so distant and removed from the surrounding world. Holden travels from school to school and he cannot find the happiness that he seems to have had in the world he knew before his brother’s death. Like the snowball, these conditions will cause Holden to melt and breakdown.

Your answer to the prompt will be the thesis of your essay

As Holden stands at the window unsure of whether to throw the snowball, he is on many levels just like this snowball. This snowball is picked up and taken away from the world it knows, the world it is familiar with. Holden, who has lost his brother and is practically friendless, also feels that he is alone in the world, with no one to turn to, nobody to relate to. Although people are often around him, everyone seems so far away, just as with this snowball; despite the fact that its home is only feet below it as it lies in Holden’s hands, it is an outcast. The snowball is now in the form of a sphere and it cannot just fit back in with its fellow snow. This is similar to how Holden feels; he sees himself as being so different from everyone else. Without him, the world seems so calm and undisturbed. It occurs to Holden that this outcast of a snowball would cause an undeserved burden on the peace and quiet of the surrounding world, as would he himself.

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[1] Without reading past the first couple dozen pages of the novel, one can predict the essence of Holden’s story, from him being an outcast like the snowball to his meltdown and rescue, just by reading an analyzing the short, yet meaningful snowball situation.