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the catcher in the rye 6 free essay 3

Rationale have decided to research the topic of coming of age literature because of the relevance that it has to myself and the people around me at this point in my life. I’ve always thought of coming of age’s definition as “independence’. Coming of age has a different definition in diverse areas of society, but Wisped (peacekeeping. Com) told me this when searched the definition of “coming of age”: “Coming of age is a young person’s transition from childhood to adulthood. The age at which this transition takes place varies in society, as does the nature of the transition.

It can be a simple legal convention or can e a part of a ritual, as practices by many societies today, such a change is associated with the age of sexual maturity (early adolescence); in others, it is associated with an age of religious responsibility. ” What this paragraph describes to me is that coming of age is not something that can simply be labeled as one thing or another. There is not a point in your life where you wake up one morning and you have merely “come of age” and are tossed into the world of adulthood. Its definition varies from society to society, culture to culture, religion to religion, etc.

But, because of this uncertainty of when money such as myself is to be considered an adult, doesn’t that mean that it is just another point that is thrown amongst the whirlwind of a teenagers life to be yet another point of confusion and frustration? As regularly hear from my teachers, parents and some of my wiser friends, “Everyone matures at their own rate”. But what exactly does that vague statement mean? What is maturity? Is it when you can make your own decisions and fend for yourself? But, hang on – if this is the case that idea of coming of age has collapsed on itself.

When others make decisions for you and you are still relying on the pinions of to guide your own decisions – have you ever grown up? My original definition of coming of age was independence, but relying on others to direct your own decisions isn’t independent at all. What influences people to “grow up”? Are the decisions of other people long before our times the reason for us having to grow up, sometimes before we should have to? Is it the factors that are beyond anyone’s control, or rather the impulses of life as a young adult? These impulses and factors may include war, sex, religion, love, competition, or even illnesses beyond our control?

What I really want to now, now that I am at the point in my life where I have to “grow up” is – What makes us grow up? Purpose The purpose Of my investigation is to research various areas Of coming Of age literature, including aspects such as the target audiences for such novels, and the authors backgrounds that may have influenced the plots of their novels, and the main character’s attitudes towards coming of age. The authors I have studied are: Texts and Authors that I will be focusing on: * The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Slinger * The Perks of being a Wallflower, by Stephen Cashbooks * A Separate Peace, by John Knowles

Focusing Questions: 1 . Have the backgrounds of the authors of The Catcher in the Rye, The Perks of being a Wallflower and A Separate Peace influenced the personalities of the main characters in their novels? 2. What are the similarities/differences between the main characters in three coming of age novels – The Catcher in the Rye, The Perks of being a Wallflower and A Separate Peace? 3. Within the storyline of each novel, what are the main influences on the main characters’ attitudes towards the idea of “coming of age”, and how are these attitudes expressed? He main characters in their novels? Jerome David (J. D. Slinger “Anyway, keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field Of rye and all. Thousands Of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. Now it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. ” -J. D. Slinger, The Catcher in the Rye Background of J. D. Slinger J. D. Slinger was born January 1, 191 9 in Manhattan, New York. His parents, a Jewish man and an Irish-Catholic woman, owned a meat importing business. Growing up, he attended Valley Forge Military Academy from 1934 to 1936, and then moved to Ursine College in Collegial, Pennsylvania. While at Ursine, he struggled to keep his grades up, and one professor even called him, “the worst English student in the history of the college. After dropping out of Ursine, he went to other schools only to fail again and again and finally ended up at Columbia University. There, he was enrolled in a writing lass taught by Whit Burnett, an editor for the Story Magazine. Burnett was the first to see some writing talent in Slinger, and helped him publish some short stories in Story’, which was his first opportunity to get his work read and acknowledged by the public. World War II came along and Slinger was forced to fly out and join the fight as part of the U. S. Fourth Infantry Division.

He was involved in the landing on Utah Beach on D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, where he saw a good amount of combat action. Unfortunately, he was hospitalized and diagnosed with, “combat stress reaction,” which sent him back home. According to the online Encyclopedia, Wisped, the symptoms of combat stress reactions of World War II were, “slowing of the reaction time, difficulty proportioning difficulty initiating routine tasks, preoccupation with minor issues and familiar tasks, indecision and lack of concentration, loss of initiative with fatigue and exhaustion. After returning home in 1946, Slinger was TABLE to get The New Yorker to print some of his short stories in their paper. One called Slight Rebellion off Madison was the first story to introduce the famous Holder Coalfield. This short story had some similar features and harassers of The Catcher in the Rye but it seemed like a rushed, rough draft of the novel soon to come. Five years later, after Slinger had mentioned to many that he felt Holder deserved his own novel, he stretched, detailed, and extensively changed his short story and thus The Catcher in the Rye was published.

Comparison of J. D. Slinger to Holder Coalfield J. D. Slinger created Holder Coalfield in the book, The Catcher in the Rye as an autobiographical character. Holder’s many adventures lead from his school in Pennsylvania to Central Park in New York. The more readers get to now him, the more they can see that he is a very unique character, and many of the events in the book create surprising results. It’s difficult to understand how J. D. Slinger was TABLE to think Of so many different scenarios for Holder to experience.

However, when comparing Clinger’s real life experiences to the events of the book, it is arguTABLE most of the book is autobiographical. Certain real life experiences Slinger went through he placed in the book, while at the same time instilling similar characteristics in the protagonist, Holder. The pieces of Clinger’s personal life he put into The Catcher in the Rye make up the main structure and underlying ideas the book presents to its audience. There are many events and experiences J. D. Slinger included in the novel that are related to his personal life.

For example, both, Slinger and Holder were born and raised in Manhattan, and went to preppy private, all-boys schools in Pennsylvania. Another interesting similarity between the two is that they were kicked out of numerous colleges because of grades. Also, Slinger first thought both his parents were Jewish, but soon after his bar mitzvahs he found out his mother was Catholic. He wasn’t very pappy that his mother had been lying to him throughout his life, and in the book, he shares how Holder has mixed feelings about Catholics. He says they’re always trying to figure out if he’s Catholic, and thinks they would like him more if he was.

In one part of the book, Holder meets a couple of Catholic nuns, and accidentally blows some cigarette smoke in their face while donating ten dollars to their church. This shows that he likes the nuns enough to give them money, but he still wants to do something that will let them know he’s still unsure about what he thinks about Catholics. Finally, another similarity is that Slinger was involved in World War II and was sent home because he suffered from combat stress reaction, while Holder says he wouldn’t be TABLE to stand going into war and would rather die by sitting on the atom bomb.

This part of, “The Catcher in the Rye,” shows Clinger’s dislike of his seen. ‘ice time in the war. It seems Slinger hated being in the army not because he had to shoot and kill people, but because of what kind of people in the army he had to be surrounded by. Another real life experience that J. D. Slinger seems to have included into his novel is that someone he loved urine him down for a much older man. In 1 941, Slinger became romantically involved with Noon O’Neill, the daughter of Eugene O’Neill, the famous play”right. A year later, Slinger was whisked off to fight in World War II, from where he sent Noon letters almost daily.

Unfortunately for Slinger, Noon met Charlie Chaplin, the actor, producer and director, when she was recommended to play a role in one of his movies. The pair fell in love, and married in 1 943, despite Noon’s father disapproving the idea of his eighteen year-old daughter marrying a fifty-four year old man. Slinger was rushed, and reacted by sending Noon an angry letter. Readers can easily see Clinger’s hurt of romantic rejection in The Catcher in the Rye when Holder ‘s roommate, Seedeater, goes out on a date with Holder’s childhood girlfriend, Jane Gallagher.

It seems one of Holder’s insecurities about their date is that Seedeater is too old and sexually experienced for Jane. Holder is also extremely stressed and nervous over the possibility Of Seedeater making sexual advances towards her. J. D. Slinger created Seedeater as the Charlie Chaplin figure, and Jane as Noon. In both circumstances, Slinger and Holder OTOH feel their relationship with the “Jane” in their lives is being taken away by the “Statelier’ figure. Both Saddletree are older, well known, and popular.

Finally, both Holder and Slinger still have strong feelings for their first loves, and are jealous to hear they are dating someone else. The fact that Noon O’Neil left J. D. Slinger for someone working in the movie entertainment industry is arguably the main reason why Slinger created Holder to have a hatred for Hollywood. In the book, Holder expresses that his older brother, D. B. , sold himself out by writing scripts for movies instead of pursuing a errors literature career. He also believes that actors and actresses in movies and plays seem too phony.

When he encounters good actors, he then argues that they are too good at what they do and seem too confident: “In the first place, hate actors. They never act like people. They just think they do. Some of the good ones do, in a very slight way, but not in a way that’s fun to watch. And if any actor’s good, you can always tell he knows he’s good, and that spoils it. ” Knowing Clinger’s past experiences with Charlie Chaplin, it is clear Slinger was still upset when writing this novel and decided to have one more shot” at the industry who took away his first love.

Slinger and Holder are also similar because of their many failed attempts to find a meaningful, lasting relationship with a woman. The failed relationships in Holder’s life include Sally Hayes, Jane Gallagher, three older women in a lounge, and the prostitute, Sunny. On the other hand, Clinger’s situation was not much better. His first love, Noon, left him, and his first two marriages ended in divorce. Here, it’s plain to see that both have a long record of broken relationships.

It looks as if Slinger wanted to express the pain and aspiration he feels in losing so many female lovers through Holder’s many failed attempts of creating friendships. J. D. Slinger created Holder Coalfield as a mirror image of himself. Not only do the two experience similar events, but their feelings, thoughts, and mind-sets are also very alike. In the book, Holder hates being in social environments and having to talk to people. It seems there is something he doesn’t like about everyone he meets, and cuts many conversations short either by insulting the other person or leaving the room.

He doesn’t enjoy talking to his fellow student, Ackley, because of his gusting hygienic habits, nor does he care for his old history teacher, Mr. Spencer when he goes to say good-bye to him. At first, he enjoys Mr. Spencer, but when his old teacher begins to lecture him about taking school seriously: “All of a sudden then, I wanted to get the hell out of the room. Could feel a terrific lecture coming on. I didn’t mind the idea so much, but I didn’t feel like being lectured to and smell Vicki Nose Drops and look at old Spencer in his pajamas and bathrobe all at the same time. Really didn’t. J. D. Slinger is exactly the same. He does not enjoy being in the public or having anyone now what is going on in his life. He also claims that he writes his best in total privacy. Clinger’s reclusive, anti-social behavior can be best expressed in his daughter, Margarita’s book, where she explains that it was hard being raised in their house because of the isolation her father put himself through. The final and one of the most interesting points that proves Slinger and Holder are similar is how they remark that, now that they’ve told people their story, they wish they hadn’t.

At the end of The Catcher in the Rye Holder says this about his story: “If you want to know the truth, I don’t know what I think about it. I’m sorry I told so many people about it… Don’t ever tell anybody anything. ” Slinger is known to not have published another book after The Catcher in the Rye even though he still writes books and short stories. He dislikes the attention he gets for writing a popular book, and it drives him to stay away from anyone from the press. Slinger became even more reclusive, going to great lengths to stop any attempt for any of his new stories to become published.

He even sued to stop Ian Hamilton from publishing a biography called J. D. Slinger: A Writing Life. To make sure certain personal letters were not included in the book. Slinger also hardly ever made public appearances or allowed people to interview him. Holder and Clinger’s behavior shows that, even though they want to write their stories out, neither of them Wants anyone to read it because then they’ll get attention. Some might argue that Clinger’s personal life had no effect when he wrote his book.

One argument supporting this view is that many believe Slinger could not have been as depressed as Holder was in the book. This means that Slinger didn’t use personal feelings and experience to create Holder, but creativeness and his excellent writing skills. It’s true that a very skilled Ritter can express feelings they have never felt, but the powerful way Slinger expresses it to the readers seems like he’s had to experience it first. Looking at the circumstances Holder has to go through, and seeing how they are similar to the experiences of J. D.

Slinger, it’s easy to see that The Catcher in the Rye is like an autobiography. He had Holder raised in a similar setting as him, and all of Holder’s outstanding characteristics like his reclusive nature, discontent, and anger towards the movie industry are all from Clinger’s personal life. It’s ironic how so many people try to interview J. D. Slinger and write biographies on him, yet they have The Catcher in the Rye probably the most accurate biography on his famous American author the public will ever see. John Knowles “Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him.

It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person “the world today” or “life” or “reality” he will assume that you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past. The world, through his unleashed emotions, imprinted itself upon him, and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever. -John Knowles, A Separate Peace Background of John Knowles Knowles was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, the son of James M. Knowles, a purchasing agent from Lowell, Massachusetts, and Mary Beatrice She Knowles from Concord, New Hampshire.

In his home town, Knowles’ father was the vice president of a coal company and they received a steady income affording them a decent standard of living. He attended Oyster Bay High School in Oyster Bay, New York from 1940 until 1942, before continuing at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, graduating in 1945. He married Beth Anne Detent Hughes at the age of 19. Knowles graduated from Yale University as a member of the class of 1949. While at Yale, Knowles served on the Board of Yale Daily News during his sophomore, junior and senior years, specifically as Editorial Secretary during his senior year.

He was a record-holding varsity swimmer during his sophomore year. A Separate Peace is based upon Knowles experiences at Phillips Exeter Academy. The setting for The Devon Woollier School is a thinly veiled factorization of Phillips Exeter Academy. The plot should not be taken as autobiographical, although many elements Of the novel stem from personal experience, including Knowles’ membership in a secret society and sustaining of a foot injury while jumping from a tree during society exercises.

In his essay A Special Time, A Special Place Knowles wrote: “The only elements in A Separate Peace which were not in that summer were anger, violence, and hatred. There was only friendship, athleticism, and loyalty. ” Following his time at Phillips Exeter, Knowles spent eight months serving in the U. S. Army Air Forces in World War II after which he attended Yale. Early in Knowles career, he wrote for the Hartford Currant and was assistant editor for Holiday gained, while he concurrently began writing novels, of which he eventually completed seven. A Separate Peace was first published in London by Seeker and Warbler in 1959.

The novel was published in New York in 1 960 by Macmillan. Knowles other significant works are Morning in Entities, Double Vision: American Thoughts Abroad, Indian Summer, The Paragon, and Peace Breaks Out. None of these later works were as well received as A Separate Peace. As a resident of Southampton, New York, Knowles wrote seven novels, a book on travel, and a collection of stories. He was the winner of the William Faulkner Award and the Rosenthal Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In his later years, Knowles lectured to university audiences.

Knowles died in 2001 , at the age of 75 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Comparison of John Knowles to Gene Forrester The author John Knowles, like his narrator Gene, was from the south (West Virginia), and sent off to an upper-class boarding school in New England for polish before university. However, unlike Gene, Knowles was no academic whiz at boarding school; he came close to flunking out Of school, and was never the genius student that Gene is portrayed as being. The novel A Separate Peace is a largely autobiographical work, drawing on Knowles’ experience at Exeter to create the Devon school.

Like Gene, Knowles attended a summer session at school to make up some classes; however, the year was 1943, not 1 942, as it is in his novel. Other than that, the summer session that Knowles describes in the book was very similar to the summer session that he attended at Exeter. “We really did have a club whose members jumped from the branch of a very high tree into the river as initiation,” Knowles has said of his book: “the only elements in A Separate Peace which were not in hat summer were anger, envy, violence, and hatred. ” In Knowles’ far more benevolent summer, “There was only friendship, athleticism, and loyalty. But the atmosphere at Exeter was similar to what he describes for Devon; they both share an old, ivy-covered campus, with great beautiful trees, and the same New England weather. The summers at Exeter and the fictional Devon were also similar in their carefree atmosphere, their warm, summery beauty, and in the amount of enjoyment the handful of students took from these summers. Phonies, like Gene, also had a real counterpart; Knowles based the harasser on David Hackett, who was actually a student at a different school, Milton Academy.

However, David was at Exeter for the summer session on which the novel is based, and was a founding member of the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session, which was a real club, and very much like the one described in the novel. David and Knowles were not roommates, but lived across the hall, and became very close as the session progressed. David was a good friend of Bobby Kennedy, and later held a position with Bobby in the Justice department. Whether Gene’s jealousy of and competitiveness with

Finny was also based on the relationship on David Hackett and John Knowles is unknown, though Knowles, through his own description of the summer session on which his book is based, would seem to defuse any such theory. Knowles has admitted that “it is true that put part of myself into all four main characters in A Separate peace: Phonies, Gene, Leper, and Brinier. ” Brinier, like Phonies and Gene, had a real-life source in Gore Vidal, who was a top-notch student at Exeter during the time that Knowles was a student.

Although he and Gore were not close friends during their time at school, Knowles does believe in retrospect that he did a good job in refining the essence of who he believed Gore Vidal to be, into the character of Brinier. Leper has no particular model according to Knowles, but is an amalgamation of a certain type of person whom he runs across repeatedly. The tragedy of Finny death was modeled on the death of Bob T tit, a student at Exeter who died in the same manner, on the operating TABLE and as a result of bone marrow escaping into the blood-stream.

Knowles was saddened by these events as a senior at the school, and knew Await to be a kind and gentle person, much as Finny is in the book. The war had as much of an impact on Exeter life as it did at Devon; Knowles has discussed, as Gene does in the book, how teachers were drawn away from the school by the war effort, and how the students began doing a great many things ‘for the war. ” Knowles, like Gene, also had to suffer through the ordeal of crowded, late trains to get back to school.

Unlike Gene, however, Knowles was a decently good athlete, participating mostly in swimming; he never achieved the superhuman feats that Finny attains in the novel, but he was no slouch either. Although the book is mostly based on real events from Knowles’ life, still remember that his book is not a work of non-fiction. Knowles himself says that the characters, even those that he bases on real people, are a jumble of different traits and qualities, and many of the dramatic conflicts of the book are not based upon real events, but were invented for the sake of the story.

The inspiration and the fuel for Knowles’ book was taken directly from his own life experience, but this does not mean that it is solely Knowles’ experience that makes up the meat of the events of the book. Stephen Cashbooks “So, guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if We don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them. – Stephen Cashbooks, The Perks of Being a Wallflower Background of Stephen Cashbooks Stephen Cashbooks is an American novelist, screenwriter, and film director best known for writing the coming of age novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999), as well as for screenwriting and directing the film version of the same book, starring Logan Learn, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller. He also wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film Rent, and was co-creator, executive reducer, and writer of the CBS television series Jericho, which began airing in 2006. Cashbooks was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in the Pittsburgh suburb of upper SST.

Claire, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Lea (n©e Meyer), a tax preparer, and Fred G. Cashbooks, a steel company executive and consultant to Scoffs. Cashbooks has a sister, Stacy. He was raised Catholic. As a teenager, Cashbooks “enjoyed a good blend of the classics, horror, and fantasy. ” He was heavily influenced by J. D. Clinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye and the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams. Cashbooks graduated from Upper SST. Claire High School in 1988, around which time he met Stewart Stern, screenwriter of the 1955 James Dean film Rebel without a Cause.

Stern became Cashbook’s “good friend and mentor’, and proved a major influence on Cashbook’s career. In 1 992, Cashbooks graduated from the University of Southern Californians screenwriting program. He wrote, directed, and acted in the 1995 independent film The Four Corners of Nowhere, which got Cashbooks his first agent, was accepted by the Issuance Film Festival, and became one of the first films shown on the Issuance Channel. In the late asses, Cashbooks rote several unpronounced screenplays, including ones titled Audrey Hepburn Neck and Schoolhouse Rock.

In 1 994, Cashbooks was working on a “very different type of book” than The Perks of Being a Wallflower when he wrote the line, “l guess that’s just one of the perks of being a wallflower”. Cashbooks recalled that he “wrote that line. And stopped. And realized that somewhere in that was the kid I was really trying to find. ” After several years of gestation, Cashbooks began researching and writing The perks of Being a Wallflower, a novel that follows the intellectual and emotional maturation of a nagger who uses the alias Charlie over the course of his freshman year of high school.

The book is semi-autobiographical; Cashbooks has said that he “relate(s) to Charlie But my life in high school was in many ways different. ” The book, Cashbook’s first novel, was published by MAT Books in 1 999, and was an immediate popular success with teenage readers; by 2000, the novel was MAT Books’ best-selling title, and The New York Times noted in 2007 that it had sold more than 700,000 copies and “is passed from adolescent to adolescent like a hot potato”. Wallflower also stirred up controversy due to Cashbook’s portrayal of teen sexuality and drug use.

The book has been removed from circulation in several schools and appeared on the American Library Association’s 2006 and 2008 lists of the 10 most frequently challenged books. In 2000, Cashbooks edited Pieces, an anthology of short stories. The same year, he worked with director Jon Sherman on a film adaptation of Michael Cabochon’s novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, though the project fell apart by August 2000. Cashbooks wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film adaptation of the Broadway rock musical Rent, which received mixed reviews.

In late 2005, Cashbooks said that he was writing a film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In the mid-asses, Cashbooks decided, on the advice of his agent, to begin looking for work in television in addition to film. Finding he “enjoyed the people (he met who were working) in television”.

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