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Comparison between “Lord of the flies” and “Catcher in the rye”

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The two books that I am comparing are The Catcher in the Rye, and Lord of the Flies. The two books are very interesting and are very opposite yet the same in many ways. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden is an idealistic character who becomes more of a realist as the novel progresses, while in the Lord of the Flies, many characters assume different roles. But the main argument between the two novels is that Holden has a dream job of being the catcher in the rye. The catcher in the rye symbolizes that Holden is on an imaginary cliff, trying to keep the children from falling off. The rye symbolizes childhood and innocence, but falling off would mean falling into the “phony” world of adult-hood. Holden wants to keep the kids on the rye preserving their innocence. In the Lord of the Flies, the boys are stuck on an island without adult supervision and quickly lose their innocence, becoming savages. Jack is the leader of the savages, and he is always acting very wild and crazy on the island. Jack yelled this quote a number of times, ” Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!” ( Golding 126). The theme I am trying to connect, is it possible to stay innocent your whole life, or will everyone eventually lose their innocence?

In the Lord of the Flies, Ralph and Piggy are the two main characters trying to keep innocence on the island by trying to restore a democratic island. Piggy tries to use his wisdom, while Ralph tries to use the little power he has left. But in order to restore democracy and innocence on the island they must compete with Jack, who is controlling the island by making everyone believe that eating meat is more important than being rescued. He even lets down his guard at the signal fire and loses their chances of being rescued; but even though Jack is not the right guy to be leader on the island, because he doesn’t think for the long run, the boys like Jack because he fills their stomachs with meat. Ralph and Piggy can be compared to Holden’s dream job of being the catcher in the rye. Both things are unrealistic, as it is impossible to keep kids from falling into adulthood and losing their innocence, because it is a normal, healthy part of life, and Holden eventually learns that, and Ralph and Piggy realize that it is unrealistic to compete with Jack’s group of savages, and that everyone will eventually lose their innocence.

Holden Caulfield believes that all kids are innocent, and when they go into the adult world, they all become phonies. Holden feels that all adults in the book are phonies, except for the nuns. Holden thinks that all adults ruin children and take away their innocence. If Holden’s thoughts were true, then Holden would think that the island in Lord of the Flies would be the most innocent place, but in Lord of the Flies the children lose their innocence by acting like savages. On the island they even kill each other! The reason the kids act like this is because there are no adults on the island; Holden would feel that with no adults the kids would live free and innocent, but the truth is that because there were no adults, the kids acted like savages. What is also ironic about this, is that Ralph and Piggy were the only ones on the island acting like adults, while Jack and the rest of the kids on the island were acting like the kids, so the only ones on the island that really acted innocent are the ones that acted like adults. Throughout the whole novel of Lord of the Flies, the kids act like savages because there are no adults, but the moment an adult steps onto the island, this restores order; the kids realize at the end that they acted like savages and the adult restores the innocence, which proves Holden wrong because Holden feels that adults take away our innocence, when they really keep it.

In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden feels that it is because of society that you can’t keep your innocence, but in Lord of the Flies, the boys can’t keep their innocence because there is no society. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden feels that it is society that is destroying innocence. An example of this is how Holden saw the graffiti on the walls of his little sister’s school, which read “fuck you” ( Salinger 201) This got Holden mad and depressed, and this is an example of how Holden feels that society takes away the innocence of children. In the Lord of the Flies, because there is no society, the kids lose their innocence. The kids lose their innocence, because there are no rules on the island, and leads the kids to believe that they can do whatever they want, and leads them to act like savages. What the two novels tell us, is that no matter what happens in society, we will always lose your innocence.

In both novels, everyone is losing their innocence, Holden is losing it but he doesn’t face the facts at the beginning, but at the end of the novel, as Holden sees Phoebe on the carousel, he starts to realize that there is nothing he can do to prevent himself or Phoebe from growing up, and he realizes that everyone will eventually lose their innocence. In Lord of the Flies, the kids are losing their innocence and there is nothing that they can do about it, because there will always be a higher power to take away innocence, like Jack did in Lord of the Flies. In both novels the characters lose their innocence, but in both novels, at the end the characters face reality. This shows that everyone will eventually lose their innocence, and everyone will have to adjust to life without it.

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