The crucible and catcher in the rye
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According to Martin Luther King Jr, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” This statement means that the best way to see that someone is a man is the way they handle themselves when they are in a problem. The critical lens is valid because this is true in life and literature. The book The Crucible by Arthur Miller and The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger exemplifies the critical lens statement by Martin Luther King Jr. The literary elements that best support the interpretation is characterization and conflict.
John Proctor in The Crucible exemplifies the critical lens statement by Martin Luther King jr. Through the literary element of characterization, (characterization is the act of creating and developing a character), Arthur Miller proves that John Proctor’s dignity is relevant to the quote by Martin Luther King jr, John proctor shows dignity by dying with honor and integrity other than living with a lie, John Proctor is also courageous. John Proctor is a tormented man. He thinks his affair with Abigail damaged him in the eyes of God, his wife Elizabeth, and himself. Proctor did stoop to sin and commit adultery. He cannot forgive himself. John and Elizabeth Proctor have a strained relationship, but their affection for each other is still seen. John tries hard to please Elizabeth, but it is extremely difficult for him because of her depression.
Elizabeth clearly loves her husband, but she has a difficult time trusting him because she thinks he has been unfaithful. The actions of John Proctor validate that you are a true man by the way you handle a problem that comes to you. An example of John Proctor trying to rectify his relationship with Elizabeth is when he talks to Elizabeth in the house about the flowers. John Proctor’s internal conflict validates the critical lens statement by Martin Luther King Jr. Through the literary element of conflict (a conflict is a struggle between opposing forces), Arthur Miller proves that John Proctor is agony is relevant to the quotation that the best way to see that someone is a real man is the way they handle themselves in a problem. John Proctor’s internal conflict is about whether he should die with his honor and great reputation or live with a lie for the rest of his life.
John Proctor had an affair and at the end he is trying to decide if he should be hung pretending to be a good Christian like the other town’s people or confess to seeing the devil. He doesn’t want to die even though he knows he is not a good person. He decides to die a Christian because he can’t give up his name by signing to a confession even if his reputation is damaged. This conflict is related to the critical lens because John Proctor is showing himself that he is a true man by the way he handled his accusation of being apart of witchcraft. The internal conflict of John Proctor in The Crucible supports Martin Luther King Jr’s critical lens statement. J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye shows that the character Holden Caulfield exemplifies that you are a true man by the way you handle a problem that comes to you. Through the literary element of characterization, Salinger proves that Holden’s irresponsibility is relevant to the quotation that you are a true man by the way you handle a problem that comes to you. Holden is a lonely person and very compassionate.
An example of Holden being irresponsible is when Holden was on the train with the fencing team and he had left the equipment on the train (3). An example of Holden being lonely is Holden’s attachment to ally; you see that Holden is still attached to ally because when phoebe asks Holden what he enjoys he tells her “I like Ally” (171). This mainly shows that Holden still relies on his brother even though he is dead, so Holden’s attachment to ally makes him lonely. An example of Holden being compassionate is when he is at pencey prep still and he says he needs to go say goodbye to Mr. Spencer because he has the grippe and he figured he wouldn’t be able to see him again until Christmas vacation (3). The examples are relevant to the critical lens statement because in all the examples you can see how Holden is turning into a man from childhood.
The actions of Holden validate that the best way to see that someone is becoming grown is the way they handle themselves when they are in a problem. Holden Caulfield’s internal conflict validates the critical lens statement by Martin Luther King Jr. Through the literary element of conflict J.D Salinger proves that Holden is trying to connect with the adulthood while part of him wants to go back to the memories of childhood. A conflict that you can see clearly relates to the critical lens statement is Holden vs. Himself because Holden has a difficult time dealing with everyday life due to his internal conflict. His thoughts almost seem to be working against him because he cannot cope with reality. Slowly Holden is becoming less capable to function within society because of his constant flashbacks to his childhood.
The internal conflict of Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye supports Martin Luther King jr’s critical lens statement. Characterization and conflict best support the interpretation in showing that John proctor and internal conflict relates to the critical lens statement. Conflict and characterization in The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye proves that the critical lens is valid. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” from reading both books this critical lens statement has strengthened my views on human life even more.