"October Sky" And "Catcher In The Rye": Coming Of Age

3350 words - 13 pages

When examining the topic of coming-of-age in literature, two books that stand out may include The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D. Salinger and Rocket Boys, or recently named, October Sky written by Homer Hickam. Each of these books briefly follows the life of a teenage boy; Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye and Homer "Sonny" Hickam Jr. in October Sky. While Catcher in the Rye spans only a matter of days in the life of Holden and October Sky spans a few years in the life of Sonny, both stories reveal many characteristics and values about their main characters. Although the stories have very dissimilar settings and the characters in each lead extremely diverse lives, it becomes apparent that Holden and Sonny are two easily comparable individuals with several similar characteristics and a number of very contradicting characteristics. While it is their unique characteristics and their distinct stories that set them apart as individuals in their worlds, it is their characteristics that also make these two young men much like each other in a sense that they are both unique people trying to make it in their flawed environments.Other than the foremost fact that both of the main characters of the two stories are unique and are trying to get along in their worlds, there are a number of other characteristics that these two individuals share. As religion is a minor topic in both books, the characters both encounter some form of religious occurrence throughout their appearances in the stories. As displayed in each story, neither of the main characters seem to have a true religion that they are committed to. For example, in The Catcher in the Rye, Holden expresses his view on his religion toward the middle of the story. He does this while talking aloud to his deceased brother Allie in a hotel room, after a depressingencounter with a prostitute:"I can't always pray when I feel like it. In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist. I like Jesus and all, but I don't care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible. Take the Disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down. I like almost anybody in the Bible better than the Disciples. If you want to know the truth, the guy I like best in the Bible, next to Jesus, was that lunatic and all, that lived in the tombs and kept cutting himself with stones. I like him ten times as much as the Disciples, that poor bastard" (Salinger 99).It is shown in this portion of the novel that Holden does not have a firm grasp on his religious beliefs. He uses the words "sort of" to describe his religion and then expresses his opinion of some of the men in the Bible in a very uneducated and informal way, most notably by using the words "poor bastard" to describe a character of the Bible. His lack of intelligence on...

Find Another Essay On "October Sky" and "Catcher in the Rye": Coming of Age

Censorship of The Catcher in the Rye

1212 words - 5 pages life lessons it teaches helps readers become more educated, get ready for the real world, and relate to them as therapy. He indicates the coming of age factor by all of his themes of a young adults modern life showing symbols, and changes of growing up. The readers can visibly see Holden Caulfield growing up because they can all relate to what he is experiencing. Salinger shows many examples that qualify as a coming of age story that a student should not be sheltered from. Works Cited Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print.

Innocence And The Catcher In The Rye

824 words - 3 pages The innocence of childhood is eventually ripped away from us all. In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye Holden Caulfield wishes to dedicate his life to preserving the innocence of everyone. Holden wants to save what was so cruelly ripped away from him with the death of his brother. Holden at first believes that he can be "The Catcher in the Rye," but he eventually comes to understand that it is both impossible and wrong to attempt such a

Catcher In The Rye

1679 words - 7 pages From the Outside, Looking In Despite the debate that may wage on regarding the status to be afforded J. D. Salinger's writings, the author's books have not quietly faded into obscurity. Although published almost a half-century ago, the author's most famous work, Catcher in the Rye, enjoys almost as healthy and devoted a following today as the book did when it was first published. Because of a self-imposed exile that began almost at the same

Catcher In The Rye

558 words - 2 pages , being immature, and thinking about his future. He kept trying to run from reality, until he finally realized that a person couldn't keep running from their problems. They solve them. Although Holden couldn't become his ultimate goal of being the catcher in the rye, he knows now that he can and live a life without phoniness.

Catcher in the Rye

1238 words - 5 pages “Catcher in the Rye”, written by J.D Salinger, is a coming-of-age novel. Narrated by the main character, Holden Caulfield, he recounts the days following his expulsion from his school. This novel feels like the unedited thoughts and feelings of a teenage boy, as Holden narrates as if he is talking directly to readers like me. I disliked “Catcher in the Rye”. There seems to be no actual, concrete plot to this novel. The novel is essentially a

Censorship of The Catcher in the Rye

1262 words - 6 pages The Catcher in the Rye is a book that is an entertaining and compelling novel portraying, to some extent, the typical journey every person goes through in adolescence. It's relatable to many in that stage of life between childhood and adulthood. But is it to explicit and should it be banned or censored from schools? My opinion is that censorship is a little extreme for this book. This novel should not be banned or censored because it is

Catcher in the Rye

684 words - 3 pages Andres Peña Block 5 Andres Peña Block 5 Catcher in the Rye 1st DraftAfter only two weeks of being published in 1951, Catcher in the Rye reached the n.1 best seller in the New York Times best seller list. By 1960, a teacher from Tulsa, Oklahoma was fired for assigning this book to his students. Starting with this, the book banned status exponentially grew throughout the United States, and other countries like Australia. Now a days

Catcher In The Rye

554 words - 2 pages easier to understand why he thought they was he did on certain issues.        The theme of Catcher In The Rye canbe stated in the following statement; life is not always fair and people arenot always fair, but you should try to make the best of everything.  Holden knew quite a few people, and some ofthem he didn't like, but he was always nice to them and never tried to do anythingto intentionally hurt them.  Also, whenhe got

Siddhartha and The Catcher in the Rye

1236 words - 5 pages “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”[1] Everyone faces adversity in their lifetime, and how one deals with the issues is what sets one apart from the other. In Siddhartha and The Catcher in the Rye, both Holden and Siddhartha face a barrage of issues. These difficulties, if not dealt with, can be debilitating

catcher in the rye

1495 words - 6 pages duty as the catcher in the rye, but this prevails over his intuition and common sense on indispensable issues. In the climax when Holden watches Pheobe on the carrousel, he puts on his hat as a protection from the non-precedent rain. "My hunting hat gave my quite a lot of protection, in a way, but i got soaked anyway. I didn't care though. I felt so damn happy all of a sudden" (Salinger 212-213). Throughout this novel, Holden had perceived

Catcher in the rye and for esm

1306 words - 5 pages There have been many great authors to this date in history, as we know it. In my lifetime, J D Salinger is one of the most famous and powerful authors I read. "J D Salinger, one of the world's most influential and reclusive authors…" (Brooks Richard, The Sunday Times pg 3) states Richard Brooks from "The Sunday Times". One of Salinger's greatest achievements was the novel "The Catcher in the Rye". I heard about he novel in numerous

Similar Essays

English Critical Response Coming Of Age Compare And Contrast Of Catcher In The Rye, Yolgnu Boy And Growing Up

806 words - 3 pages The concept of coming of age is defined through a process of growing up, and reaching a stage of physical and mental maturity. This process is depicted through a journey of development; from childhood to adulthood, and is portrayed as both a challenging and liberating experience. The three texts, Stephen Johnson’s film Yolgnu Boy (2000), J.D. Sallinger’s novel Catcher in the Rye (1951), and Mai’s poem Growing Up (2008), explore

Catcher And The Bell Jar Two Coming Of Age Novels

1258 words - 5 pages Catcher and The Bell Jar "“ Two Coming of Age Novels While J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar are two entirely different novels with different themes at first glance, both tell tales of teenagers who are coming of age and learning responsibility. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been kicked out of school and is trying to decide what he wants to do with his life. In The Bell Jar

Catcher In The Rye: Fear Of Change And Loneliness

1592 words - 7 pages Everyone struggles with change and loneliness in one shape or form every day. While some of us only know how we handle these problems, it would help us more if we knew how others handled them. In Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield, a now ex-Pencey Prep student grapples with all of his many fears and problems. All while traveling around New York so not to go home and face his angry parents. Holden, who experienced the death

Catcher In The Rye Essay

648 words - 3 pages example, contain universal themes and they still have the ability to electrify readers' veins today. J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is one of these proud classics and is so because it can speak to the masses of all generations and peoples. One major theme of universality in this book is the coming of age. Though his slang words may be dated, Holden's story still shows the experience and emotion that modern teenagers go through today