Comparative Essay of Catcher in the Rye and Perks of Being a Wallfolower

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The novels the Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger and the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky are both coming of age novels. The Catcher in the Rye is set around the 1950s and is narrated by sixteen year old Holden Caulfield. Holden is very judgemental, especially when it comes to people he has categorized as phony. The perk of being a wallflower is set in the 90s and is narrated by Charlie who is a freshman in high school. Charlie is quiet, keeps to himself, and does not enjoy being the center of attention. As most adolescents attempt to find their place in the world they often find mentors to help guide them through conflict. Both Holden and Charlie search for the meaning of their lives, go through conflict, and find someone to help guide them. Both novels are coming of age books because the main characters search for meaning in their life. Holden has trouble staying in one place for too long, for example he has been expelled from four schools. This is because he is constantly searching for his perfect world that has no phonies. While he is trying to find a place with no phonies or adults he says: I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. (Salinger 173) Holden is describing to his sister Phoebe what his dream job would be, which is to stop kids from growing up. This shows that Holden’s perfect world is all his own imagination. Throughout the perks of being a wallflower, all Charlie wants is to fit in. He does this by being a good friend, “I’ve been spending a lot of time with Patrick these days. I really haven’t said much. I just kind of listen and nod because Patrick needs to

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