Hamlet & Catcher In The Rye St.Mary Comparitive Essay Of A Novel And Play

1855 words - 8 pages

Although one’s internal forces have a huge impact, their external factors can have a bigger role in affecting how they end up in life. Throughout the play of Hamlet by William Shakespeare, and in the novel of The Catcher in the Rye, the fates of Hamlet and Holden are vastly determined by the environments they live in. The external forces of family, friends, and the essence of innocence greatly shape the fate of the protagonists to their final outcomes; while one is led along a path to positive change, the other is led to his demise.
An unhealthy family relationship can lead one to making bad choices in life. At the beginning of the novel, Holden the protagonist vaguely states how he feels about his family settings, sending out a negative vibe. He talks of his younger years as “my lousy childhood” (Salinger, 1) and addresses that his “parents were occupied” (1) as he talks about his life experiences. These words speaks that he did not have an enjoyable childhood like many, as his parents were too busy to take well care of him. He further continues by talking about his brother. Later on in the novel he says that his mother is “nervous as hell. Half the time she's up all night smoking cigarettes” (158). This quote is a strong indication of his mother’s mental state after the death of his brother, Allie. Due to her lack of mental stability, Holden neglects to share much of his problems with his mother, thus a barrier is drawn. As for Holden, he is not too proud of his brother D.B, despite the fact that his brother writes for Hollywood. He says that D.B “used to be a regular writer, when he was home” (1) but “Now he’s out in Hollywood, D.B, being a prostitute” (2). This quote displays that Holden thinks lowly of his brother as he feels that D.B is selling his talent of screenwriting for money. Holden’s words reveal his unhealthy relationship with his parents, and also how poorly he feels about his brother. Both relations thus provide as a source of inadequacy of comfort and care from his own family.
Similarly, one wrong choice within a family can affect all members and can lead to relationships being broken. From the very beginning of the play, Hamlet is displayed as an unhappy man, especially after the death of his father; but the pain was further increased by the remarriage of his mother, Gertrude to his uncle. Upon seeing Hamlet’s state of melancholy, Gertrude, says “If it be, Why seems it so particular with thee?” (I.II.75). This line surely infuriates Hamlet, as he feels that his mother cannot understand his deep sadness and feels angry for not being a loyal wife to his dead father by withstanding the urge to remarry. Additionally, his new father, Claudius, betrays him later on in the play to save himself from Hamlet’s revenge. As he sends off Hamlet to England, he writes to the king that “By letters congruing to that effect, The present death of Hamlet” (IV.III.66-67). This shows Claudius’s true intentions behind sending Hamlet away was...

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