Down are texts of Bildungsroman. Throughout the to texts we are shown the elements of conformity, societal expectations and most prominently belonging. In both texts the protagonists: Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye and Igby Slocumb in Igby Goes Down are portrayed as anti-heroes. These two characters share so many similarities that they can be perceived as the same person. Both protagonists have entered the real world where independence is vital for survival.
They underestimate the viciousness of society and enter the world without guidance, both searching for a place of belonging and ultimately finding their true identity. Igby and Holden are perfect examples of what society has labeled as teenage rebellions and what parents are afraid their children will grow up to be. Drug usage, flunking out of multiple schools and non-conformity towards society are just a few actions that make an individual a ‘bad’ person because of social stigmas; and both characters fit into that bad person image effortlessly.
From a strangers perception this facts will create prejudicial views towards these boys but what someone’s external appearance can’t always tell is that person’s inner identity. As proven in both texts, many would simply perceive them as ‘screw ups’ but what both of them are hiding behind the drugs, flunking and rebellion acts is the need to belong to someplace in society. Belonging is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s life; some may find a place to belong instantaneously whilst others may take a prolonged time.
Looking for Alibrandi is a good example of expanding on the theme of belonging. Jose is a confused girl who is searching to find where she belongs in her two different cultures and trying to find a balance of both. Jose being a ‘bastard’ reflects how she does not feel she belongs in her family, as her nonna has always blamed Jose’s mother, Christina for her birth. A quote that ...
Igby and Holden both find it extremely difficult to find this place to belong in and as a consequence make them have the urge to search and find this place. The reason Holden can’t find his destination is because of his penchant of having a prejudice view on someone and judges him or her by his or her actions and external features. He classifies most of the people he interacts with as ‘phony’ because he believes they have put a mask on over their true identity to satisfy societal demands and expectations. This results him never making new acquaintances or friends, hich ultimately leaves him lonely and still lost from his desired destination of belonging. Igby has the same outlook towards life as Holden, to find that area of belonging. Igby has a different approach to find that destination, he asks for his share of his inheritance from his mother and wants to move cities to start his independent life. We are shown during the scenes where Igby is given a job by Russell as a Drug Courier and meets his old teacher and two young ladies. We are shown that he tries to create this false persona during each encounter with someone new.
This is because he’s subconscious does this to steer him away from others, I think that Igby’s area of belonging is solitary. At the end of each text we find that throughout their respective journeys, they have not gained even a single new friend, still worlds apart from their destination. Both protagonists’ families share the same persona: A successful and desired older son, a rebellious and disgraceful second son and disoriented parents. The older brothers in the family Ollie and D. B. have become this successful son that parents dream to have.
The attention of the older brothers simply overshadows and achievement that both Igby and Holden have done, this obviously contributes to their mental and social demise. The parents are iniquitous by creating favorite in their offspring, due to the success of their first sons in both texts the second son has to either be of equivalence in success or overtake the brothers. This becomes and enormous pressure to the protagonists and both fall under this pressure. Now Holden and Igby becomes the unwanted child that ruins both their families’ perfect image.
Comparative Essay The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger and Igby Goes Down by Burr Steers are both displayed as rites of passage texts. The respective protagonists of these two texts are Igby Slocum b and Holden Caulfield. These two characters are both on a journey motif, a journey of self discovery in which they both attempt to find meaning in life and understand societies values and ...
The contrasts in both children’s success has pushed both protagonists to be out casted from their family and force to find another place of belonging. The conformities of society that has been forced on the youth of the society are simple: go to school, listen to authority, stay in the shadows of adults and stay in line. The majority of youth follows these conformities but troubled youth like Igby and Holden become labeled as ‘rebellions’ or ‘delinquents’ because of societies prejudice views towards them. Holden is obviously troubled due to his younger brother Allie’s death.
Since Allie had become one of Holden’s closest and only admired person on Earth it will obviously change him. Allie was one of the sole reasons that Holden basically woke up for. Allie was like Holden’s heart; the body malfunctions when the heart is taken away; when Allie was taken away the same thing happened to Holden, he malfunctions. His outlook towards life deteriorates and he journeys to in simple terms find another heart. Igby’s parents are the causes of his malfunction; his father is a schizophrenic lunatic passive smoker, a wonderful influence.
His mother on the other hand was an Alcoholic heartless cancer patient, another fantastic influence. Not only are Igby’s parents anatomically sick but also mentally sick as well. A child’s predominant influence and sculptors of their morals and values are their parents. A pair of blind and handless people obviously sculpted Igby. Society is extremely harsh, only creating a view on someone through his or her exterior image. Society is oblivious to an individual’s past; Igby and Holden are labeled as outcasts because of society’s blind eye towards one past.
It was not only Igby and Holden’s family that has made them as rebels but society has further intensified the label. The two texts share many amounts of similarities predominantly by the respective protagonists. The persona, history and goals of these protagonists are almost identical. Both are anti-heroes in their own rights and are the exiles of society. The most obvious resemblance of the two is their need to belong somewhere, to have a place where they are finally a member and not a castaway.