Concept Of New Worlds In "The Catcher In The Rye" And "My Life As A Dog"

1235 words - 5 pages

How has the concept of ‘new worlds’ been presented by the director and author whose works you have studied?The concept of ‘new worlds’ manifests in some texts as the process of undertaking transformations to altered levels of understanding, realisation and insight. This concept is presented in many works; two examples being the popular novel The Catcher In The Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger and Lasse Hallström’s award-winning film My Life As A Dog (1985). The two bildungsroman works share similar structures and thematic concerns but differ in modes of production and context.The Catcher In The Rye was published when American teenagers began to question and challenge conservative social rules through the onset of pop culture and rock and roll. Salinger’s novel in part questions conformity and became a beacon for disheveled youth. The novel is also influenced by Salinger’s experiences of WWII and boarding schools. The book begins with the protagonist recalling four days of “madman stuff” after expulsion at a boarding school which led to self realization. The concept of new worlds is presented by the author through context, form, and thematic concerns in The Catcher In The Rye.My Life As A Dog is a positive, nostalgic view of Sweden in the 1950s from a 1980s perspective. Events referred to in the film are Swedish boxing champion Ingemar Johansson winning a world title, and the race to outer space. Despite this, the movie deals with confronting concerns such as mortality. The film follows Ingemar’s transition into adolescence when he is sent off to relatives while his mother “needs to rest” from tuberculosis. After his mother’s death and his dog’s death, Ingemar undergoes a short grieving process from which he realizes that “it could be worse” and all is not lost. The concept of new worlds is presented by the director through the context, form, and thematic concerns in My Life As A Dog.The Catcher In The Rye uses authentic teenage idiom written as a stream of consciousness in monologue form to present a new world of understanding. Holden moves by association and this unpredictable narration reflects his personality. Repetition, hyperbole and short sentences are consistent throughout the text such as “it really did” and “it killed me”. His transition of new emotions is known when he “miss[es] everybody” when before, he alienates himself as protection. His frequent use of profanity is restrained as coarse language offends him. He envisions himself as the protector of children but later understands that children must take risks and “grab for the gold ring”. Holden sees himself as “illiterate” but mentions many texts like “Hamlet” and “David Copperfield” with similar stories contradicts his harsh self-dismissal. The novel’s structure begins with Holden recalling four days of wandering in New York. The...

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