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The Journey Of Discovery Of Holden Caulfield In The Novel The Catcher In The Rye.

1944 words - 8 pages

It is a task of the modern novelist to create human beings who embark on a journey of discovery and whom we accept as living creatures filled with complexities. The life of every character starts at birth and ends in death. However fundamental these two events seem in a person's life, there is much more that occurs between the two. Every character takes a journey through life or is called to take one. This journey can be viewed as Joseph Campbell's Theory of the Quest.Every character, at some time, is called to start the quest, to leave the old life for a new one. Holden, the main character and narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is no exception to this rule. He experienced, like many others, a period in his young life when he received the quest call to start his life journey.Holden answers the call to adventure, the first step in Joseph Campbell's Theory of the Quest, when he gets kicked out of school. According to Campbell, the call can take a variety of forms. The call can look like a call to live, a call to die, a call to go on a religious adventure, or a call to go on a historical adventure. For Holden, the call is a call to live. Holden goes through several struggles and ends up in a rest home. At the end of the novel Holden is living with aid. According to Campbell, the call to adventure is really a call to grow up, to mature, or to come to understand something the hero did not understand before. The call to adventure makes the hero pass from one level of maturity to another. For Holden, the call is definitely a call to grow up. Holden learns to mature and go on with his life after his brother Allie dies. According to Campbell, the call can come from a variety of forces. The call can come from the hero himself, an accident, or outside forces. For Holden, the call came from himself. Because Holden did not apply himself in school, he was kicked out of school forcing him to learn the way of the real world. According to Campbell, the call can be refused, but if the call is refused the hero is really refusing to grow up. For Holden, he does not refuse the call and he goes on an adventure to grow up. Holden wrote his teacher a letter saying,"Dear Mr. Spencer. That's all I know about the Egyptians. I can't seem to get very interested in them although your lectures are very interesting. It is all right with me if you flunk me though as I am flunking everything else except English anyway. Respectfully yours, Holden Caulfield."Holden knew that he was flunking and still he did not seem to care. By this he accepted the call.According to Campbell, the hero may need Aid in choosing whether or not to go on the journey. The Aid can come from a variety of sources. The Aid can be from an accident or outside forces. For Holden, The Aid came from Ackley. Ackley, one of Holden's roommates in college, is an annoying friend who always bothers Holden. One night Holden gets into a fight with Stradlater, his other roommate, and Holden seeks friendliness from Ackley....

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