Catcher In the Rye
In order for any association to be functional, the novices in the group must shift from careless children to responsible leaders. The link between the two mentioned extremes is labeled adolescence. During this confusing time, individuals must come to terms with the realities of the given world. In place of the rites of passage, modern man has expected the novice to naturally determine the right time for the transformation. The Initiation Process is a trend of typical symptoms and stages a novice goes through. The system is accurate to some degree but not all novices fit it in the same way or at the same rate. This truth becomes more apparent when a novice struggles through the system. Catcher in the Rye and Red Badge of Courage both depict less than a one-week period in which the protagonist demonstrates rapid growth and the baggage of internal and external conflict. The three stages of the Initiation Process-- Separation, Transition and Incorporation fit each of the books conveniently with only minor disagreements. Although the novices are being initiated into two different worlds- Holden, the adult world, and Henry realm of the experienced soldier, the process can be distorted to allow for a non- adolescent in
Although Henry, from the Red Badge of Courage, would not be considered as stubborn as Holden, in order to escape the boredom he makes well-thought-out decisions that create conflict with his family and later, his regiment as his thoughts reveals mental unrest. To his mother’s dismay, in search of his true identity Henry enlists in the Army as boredom exists in the farm life he currently lives. After thought and internal conflict Henry announces, “ma, I’ve enlisted” (Crane 5). This blatant betrayal of his mom’s wishes demonstrates his newfound goals in life, as he puts himself in a position in which he will need to assume the responsibilities of adulthood. As another sign of the Separation Stage Henry displays instability, as he is constantly second guessing himself and warping himself of confidence. During a shooting opportunity in battle Henry, “Caught sight of [the running man and] the youth was momentarily startled by a thought that perhaps his gun was not loaded. He stood trying to recollect the moment when he had loaded but he could not” (Crane 37). The symptom of instability confirms the idea that Henry has become indecisive in a time of change in his life. This contrasts heavily with Holden Caulfield who seems to have his mind made up about a subject before his encounter. Henry exhibits antagonism towards his regiment as he struggles to find balances between egoism and altruism. During a march with his men, Henry feels opposite the way felt earlier. Thoughts of fleeing battle were previously on his mind but now, “He suddenly lost concern for himself” (Crane 38). In order to be this functional member of his regiment he must find a balance between these two extremes as he is doing his clan a disservice at either of sides. Henry seems to have hit the two extremes of all of his actions, and will need to work his way into a balance, in the same part of the book in Catcher Holden is completely lost and it will take more work and pain to find a healthy outlook on life.
nt initiate. Progressing parallel to the initiation process, Henry and Holden transfer from juvenile to mature behavior with different rates and struggles, as demonstrated by their unique actions and thoughts at various checkpoints throughout Red Badge of Courage and Catcher in the Rye.
During each of the novel’s Transition Stages the novice journeys into the unknown where he or she is tested and strained, as their internal turmoil leads to physical displeasure and confusion. This stage Catcher in the Rye is an exemplary novel in which the novice undergoes a serious Transition Stage, requiring much suffering and decision-making. Holden needs to make decisions regarding the meaningfulness he wants his sexual experiences to entail. As Sonny the Hooker begin to undress Holden, “Certainly felt peculiar when she [pulled her dress over her]. I mean she did it so sudden and all. I know you’re supposed to feel pretty sexy when someone pulls a dress over their head, but I didn’t” (Sal
Some topics in this essay:
Initiation, Holden, The Catcher In The Rye, The Stage, Last Day Of The Last Furlough, I M Crazy, The Red Badge Of Courage, Himself, Holden Caulfield, Crane,
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