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King Lear vs. Holden Caulfield

In: English and Literature

Submitted By vinnnyle
Words 1410
Pages 6
Mr. K. McGuire


30 May 2012

King Lear vs. Holden Caulfield

Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear revolves around his decision to give away the kingdom to his three daughters which marked the beginning of chaotic and uncontrollable consequences. In the middle of the play, Lear went mad and lost everything. On the other hand, the novel, The Catcher in the Rye is about a boy named Holden Caufield. He does not care about school at all and got kicked out. He ended up running away from school early because of a quarrel between him and his roommate name Stradlater about a girl that he had feelings for. He then lived on the streets and met new and old friends until the day that he is supposed to return home. But there were problems and he went to sneak home early to visit his little sister Phoebe. Throughout the story, he tries to fit in but instead feels alienated and alone. Despite the differences in settings and story lines, both of these characters are similar to each other in many ways. Despite the differences in the time periods, King Lear and The Catcher of the Rye both display similar qualities which include their poor decisions, experienced major downfalls and lost of their psychological sanity.

Both King Lear and The Catcher of the Rye illustrate their own terms of insanity which compliments the two as the major theme. In chapter 25 of The Catcher of the Rye, each time Holden crosses a street, he felt like he would disappear, therefore every time he reached a curb, he would called to Allie, his dead brother, begging to let him make it to the other side. “Every time I’d get to the end of a block I’d make believe I was talking to my brother Allie.” As quoted, this exhibits Holden’s psychological insanity whereas it was perceived to be as if he was hallucinating and hearing his dead brother. Likewise, King Lear also lost a sense of his sanity which

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Words: 123102 - Pages: 493