"The Catcher in the Rye" & "Cool Hand Luke" Comparison Essay

Essay by Katerina_gantchevaHigh School, 11th gradeA, December 2002

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You can never say that two people are the same, but you can always find similarities between them. In the novel "The Catcher in the Rye" and in the movie "Cool Hand Luke", we see two very similar persons. The movie tells the story of a free spirited drifter, Lucas Jackson, who is brutalized by the prison system in the American South. Luke's crime is nonconformity. "He cannot conform to the rules of his captivity." The novel is narrated by Holden Caulfield, a thinking, analyzing, and outspoken individual who values honesty and sincerity. Holden is an immature teenager trying to protect the innocence of children. Both people share common aspects of life, problems with authority, failure, thoughts on death and personal losses. Both characters can be identified as loners. Luke and Holden have high potential, but they refuse to use it, so they sink in their lives.

They dislike society and people. They behave in a way that they will end up destroying themselves, one - mentally and the other - physically.

Holden Caulfield, in "The Catcher in the Rye", at first appears to be having a conflict with society, but, upon closer examination, he is truly only at war with himself.

Holden is in many ways a typical teenager, skeptical of all authority and with a truculent attitude that stems from a cynical naïveté: he is "riding for some kind of terrible, terrible fall." Salinger, the author of the novel, gradually indicates that Caulfield has a longer history and troubles that are more deeply rooted that the conventional disaffected teenager, as he moves from boarding school to boarding school with no sense of purpose. As he reflects back on his final day at Pencey Prep, he says: "they kicked me out...I was flunking four subjects...