Is catcher in the rye and the complete stranger still relevant
Albert Camus’ ‘The Outsider’ and J. D Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ both have central characters who discover themselves on the borders of the society they live in. Holden Caulfield finds himself ‘lonesome’ in 1950’s New York, in the lead as much as Christmas, while Meursault, the protagonist of Camus’ unique faces trial before a jury after devoting the murder of an unnamed Arab man, in 1930’s Algeria. The concern we must ask ourselves as readers is: are the stories of these two men still relevant to life in the twenty-first century, and if so, why?
Meursault, the readers’ eyes and ears in ‘The Outsider’ appears unbelievably detached from anything or anyone around him. The opening line of ‘Mom died today. Or maybe the other day, I don’t understand,’ shows how little compassion this character has. There is no sadness or regret, it is just a statement. The reader will soon realise that Meursault will just deal in the factual and the concrete. Feelings to this character are worthless. On the day of his mother’s funeral he notifications a man with ‘trembling (lips) beneath a nose pitted with blackheads.’ Meursault’s description of this guy is cold and rather unforgiving.
He enters into great detail when describing the suit the guy is using, ‘the black tie with a knot that was too little for the big clerical … the pants with a thin white pinstripe …’ Meursault acknowledges the physical appearance of this guy, but he doesn’t sign up the psychological factor for this response. The reader can value that Meursault is only impacted by the environment, he is mentally absent from the funeral. It is not the truth his mom is being buried today that Meursault finds dismal, but it’s the ‘entire landscape’ which ‘is flooded in sunlight. Meursault offers an unique view on the world since he is so separated from society. This special protagonist means his idea pattern will lead us down a various course of thought as we follow his internal monologue. This is a key reason why I think ‘The Outsider’ is still appropriate to me as a twenty-first century reader. Meursault is not a character who you connect with in an actual sense, I see him as a radical, a guy who doesn’t live by daily societies rules, and this must be considered admirable. Certainly we must have the ability to find out something from a man who is content living beyond the emotional sphere of guy?
Holden Caulfield is our guide for J. D Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’ He is a sixteen year old young boy who has just recently been thrown away his prep school, Pencey. Unlike Meursault, Holden descriptions intertwine the physical things he sees and the psychological effect it has on him as a character. He informs us that the ‘whole group ostracised me the whole method back on the train’ for loosing the fencing devices, ‘it was pretty funny, in a manner’ he ends up. Unlike Meursault who can not fathom feelings in others, Holden can acknowledge the anger in his other teammates, and likewise comments upon his reaction to the scenario.
We see that Holden has a devil-may-care attitude, unlike any other protagonist we have checked out before. He starts ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ with ‘if you really wish to become aware of it, the first thing you’ll most likely need to know is where I was born.’ The tone conveyed is rather aggressive, however we likewise feel like Holden doesn’t appreciate his reader. He concludes his intro with, ‘besides, I’m not going to tell you my entire goddam autobiography or anything.’ One of the primary reasons that I believe this book is still pertinent for todays society is that Holden is one of the first characters who we could call a “teenager”.
He smokes, drinks, is continuously ‘horny’ and discovers himself disagreeing with the majority of the major institutes of 1950’s America. In the initial paragraphs of the first paragraph Holden describes how you are “expected to commit suicide or something if Pencey lose’ in American Football. He undermines the significance of this sport to the rest of the school and his tone is leaking in sarcasm. Then he describes how his bro is ‘out in Hollywood, being a woman of the street.’ Holden appears to reject the things that others in America were obsessed with at the time. Hollywood was in it’s golden age throughout the 1950’s.
Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean and Marlon Brando were all lighting up the silver screen and America feared. Sally Hayes, Holden’s date in chapter sixteen is appropriately in wonder of the movie industry. She gushes, ‘The Lunts! Oh, wonderful!’ Since this is a well known movie, starring popular actors. Holden, however is not satisfied as in another chapter he says “the goddam motion pictures. They can ruin you. I’m not kidding.” Salinger develops a character who is not stellar considered about America, he distances himself from the masses by his refusal to accept such American things like football and the film industry.
I believe Holden’s sense of distinction is physically represented by his red hunting hat. It is outlandish and garish and Holden wears it to show he is different from the others in New York City City. The reality that Holden is not enticed by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and isn’t swept away in the wave of Football shows he has the ability to believe individually. Certainly we can take away something from a character who breaks the mould of the everyday American, and for that reason this implies “The Catcher in the Rye” is as pertinent today as it was when it was published in 1951. The Outsider’ is a novel of humankind. The unique explores what it is to be human and the ethical concerns that surround human beings. Human nature does not alter, and for that reason the questions that Meursault asks himself in his cell on death row are still pertinent to today’s readers. Lots of think that Camus’ novel is a work of existentialism, that a person is responsible for giving meaning to his life, as opposed to the organizations around him. Meursault deals with death in such a way that is unnatural to humans, however a way that after reading his internal monologue we can understand.
He offers a different view of death. The pastor that goes to Meursault states he is struggling with ‘severe anguish’ however Meursault disagrees, he is just scared due to the fact that to be scared ‘is just natural.’ After the conversation with the chaplain, Meursault accepts death, now he feels ‘permanently indifferent’ to the world around him. He understands that death is a natural incident; he has no control over when or how he will die. In this moment Meursault gives up the perfects of hope. It would just abuse him on his deathbed.
Now Meursault is at peace with the world, he mentions ‘What did it matter that Marie now had a brand-new Meursault to kiss?’ This acceptance of death is still relevant today as death is a universal incident, it took place in the 1930’s when the books set, the 1940’s when the book was composed, and today in the 21st century. This is one of the primary reasons I believe it is still appropriate to today’s reader. Holden in J. D Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ is very well-known for the use of the word ‘bogus’. It appears in nearly every chapter since Holden is very much a fan of the principle of it.
Holden uses it to describe a variety of various things he encounters on his adventure around New york city City, from superficial dates, to the prentious bar personnel at particular bars and restaurants. Holden explains how being a phony when you end up being a grownup is an initiation rite. He explains to Phoebe, his little sister, that when you end up being an adult, ‘how will you understand you’re being a phony? The problem is you can’t’. For Holden this slang word stands as an emblem of everything that is wrong with the world and validates Holden’s negative withdrawal into seclusion.
We the reader in the 21st century still experience the very same kind of ‘phoniness’ in the adult world and therefore this book is still appropriate in todays age, as we make the journey into adulthood and discover that adults do not play by the same rules that they would teach their children. Holden’s inner monologue is at times really insightful, nevertheless there are times whenever he, himself, is guilty of “phoniness”. Holden acknowledges the ‘phony smile’ his headteacher gives to moms and dads when they pertain to go to, due to the fact that it is impacted and fake, and finds Gatsby’s usage of “old sport” humorous, in truth he even states ‘it kills me. Yet holden is not able to acknowledge he utilizes the word ‘old’ in front of whatever, specifically when explaining his more youthful sister. ‘… You ought to see Old Phoebe … ‘, ‘… Old Phoebe beat him to it …’ and ‘That eliminates me. Old Phoebe …’ are a few of the lots of times Holden utilizes this affected stating. Another reason why the reader can see Holden himself is a phony is his compulsive requirement to lie. One example of this is on the train with Mrs. Morrow, when he tells her his name is ‘Rudolph Schmidt’. Holden would have us think that he is the last vanguard versus the attack of “phoniness”.
However the truth is, he is simply as guilty of the criminal activity as anybody else he implicates in New York. For me, this dilutes the power of Holden’s voice. Unlike Meursault, who has actually been “built” in a particular way and can not believe outside the confines of these walls, Holden can not see that even he is breaking his one golden rule. However, This does not water down the importance for todays readers. It reveals us that we need to not be hypocritical, or we may wind up looking absurd when we implicate others of things we are as similarly guilty of.
Camus wrote in his afterward of ‘The Outsider’ in 1955 that lying is now part of everyday life, that ‘all of us do it (lie), every day, to make life simpler. However Meursault, contrary to looks, doesn’t wish to make life simpler’, when Marie asks him if he likes her, he keeps in mind how he ‘informed her it didn’t mean anything however that I didn’t think so.’ Meursault refuses to cover his inner ideas with lies and due to the fact that of this the society around him feels threatened. This distinct viewpoint is still relevant for life today, since sincerity now is deemed a product.
Meursault is a sincere man, when asked by his attorney to state that he had actually ‘managed his natural feelings that day’ Meursault reacts no, and his factor; ‘due to the fact that it’s not true.’ The action of the legal representative is essential. Meursault remarks that he ‘took a look at me (Meursault) in a peculiar method, like he found me revolting.’ I believe that this lawyer is indicated to represent society at large. A man who tells the reality is horrible, a lot so that ultimately Meursault is put to death because of his rejection to lie. Reading this in the 21st century is still relevant.
Society would still be revolted by a male who reveals no regret or remorse for murder, we need just take a look at the case of Anders Behring Breivik from 2011. The media were outraged at his absence of empathy or remorse. Meursault’s lack of emotion and his wish to be sincere is still relevant today due to the fact that we are still charging criminals who reveal no remorse and are truthful and upfront about the truth they have actually dedicated murder. In ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ I have discovered that for Holden lying is the worst type of phoniness. Holden makes it very clear to the reader that he dislikes phonies.
This is displayed in his brief anecdote of Elkton Hills, when he criticises Penis Slagle for pretending that he owns Holden’s pricey travel suitcases. Holden criticises Slagle for ‘wanting everyone to think that my bags were his.’ However as I have already talked about Holden is simply as guilty of this criminal activity. He even goes as far as to say that he is the ‘most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.’ Meursault and Holden both hold lying up to the crucial spotlight. Nevertheless I find Meursault is much more successful at conveying the awfulness of lying, due to the fact that he refuses to lie, not even to save his life.
Holden, likewise recognises the awfulness of lying, but regrettably does not practice what he preaches as he is a pathological phony. The theme of lying is still relevant today as we still live in a world of phonies and lying, therefore both novels are still pertinent, nevertheless i find that ‘The Outsider’ is more relevant because it is not hypocritical. The Guardian paper recommends that ‘The Outsider’ is a ‘engaging, dreamlike myth.’ In order for this story to be a fable, the reader must feel there is an ethical at the end of the novel.
That we discover something crucial by the time we complete the book. I think the moral of ‘The Outsider’ is that life has no rational order, there is no reason or description for anything in life occurring. I believe this because Meursault’s case wasn’t the ‘essential case in session … a parricide (is) coming on immediately later on.’ This case, I think is the factor for Meursault’s execution. Camus summarized ‘The Outsider’ in a sentence, stating ‘in our society any guy who does not weep at his mom’s funeral is responsible to be condemned to death. After all the truth that Meursault has killed the ‘Arab male’ is long forgotten as soon as the court realises that this man shows no grief at the death of his mom. The prosecuting supporter even utilizes this truth in his closing statement, specifying ‘tomorrow … this very same court will evaluate the most abominable of all criminal offenses: the murder of a daddy.’ The advocate believes that Meursault is ‘morally accountable for his mom’s death’ and therefore should be ‘cut off from society to no lower an extent than one who raised a homicidal hand against the author of his days. If these cases had actually not been so close together, Meursault might not have been carried out. The ethical of this myth is that life can not be controlled, it is illogical and unpredictable, and this meaning transgresses time. The fable is still relevant in the 21st century, as we are living the exact same life as Meursault did eighty years previous to us. Holden Caulfield is one of the earliest teenage lead characters in Literature. Nevertheless, reading this novel in the 21st century now makes Holden appear quite stereotypical and cliched. His embarrassing effort at working with a woman of the street just highlights his vibrant naivety and lack of maturity.
I discover the story of Holden to be unrealistic and nearly dumb in todays society, practically like he is a bad character from “Grange Hill” or “Waterloo Road.” I believe if ‘The Catcher in the Rye” was released today, the book would be considered ludicrous and almost absurd. This is why I believe ‘The Outsider’ is more relevant to a 21st century reader that ‘Catcher in the Rye.’ ‘The Outsider’ explores complex matters, like life and death and love and feelings all of which are still relevant to todays readers. It is a fab, ple that transgresses time.
It relates to todays readers, and will still be relevant to readers a hundred years from now. It is a book of humanity and because mankind and our nature never ever changes this novel is still pertinent. “The Catcher in the Rye”, on the other hand, is a long anecdote of a spoiled rich teen. Nevertheless that is not to say that it does not provide anything to a 21st century reader, because it does. It reminds us not to be hypocritical or “fake” due to the fact that if we are, individuals might view us in the same light as we view Holden Caulfield, which isn’t a nice idea at all.