The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger and Looking For Alaska by John Green

The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger and Looking For Alaska by John Green

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Throughout history, authors of young adult literature are oftentimes forced to incorporate the perils of young adulthood into their plots, characters, and conflicts. Growing up in America is an experience unlike no other. Today, American young adults are part of a large generation called the Millenials, who are considered the most educated in American history. They are more open minded, progressive, successful, and technological. However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows for these young Americans who oftentimes have outstanding debt and job prospects that are unacceptably dim. In multiple ways, the reality for a young Millenial in America parallels the life of a young adult born during the Silent Generation, a generation characterized by cautious and withdrawn juveniles. Much like the Millennials, the Silent Generation was plagued by complications from a terrible economy and war. Regardless, multiple reports suggest that the Silent Generation was the happiest generation in American history. The Catcher In The Rye and Looking For Alaska, two American novels about young adulthood, provide an insight on the commonalities and differences between these two generations and their unique American experiences. The two novels written by J.D. Salinger and John Green, respectively, were written fifty-four years apart, but their similarities are nonpareil. In fact, Green cites The Catcher In The Rye as an inspiration for his novel. The Catcher In The Rye and Looking For Alaska display similarities between two different generations through macabre internal conflicts, risqué subjects, and blind conformity.
The internal conflicts in The Catcher In The Rye are often viewed as sentimental subplots that provide depth to the coming of age story ...


... middle of paper ...


...imes, the juveniles of the nation do not know where to turn. They lose all faith in humanity and themselves. The point of young adult literature is to provide hope for that life in distress, to give them something to escape to when everything crumbles around them. The youth of America have been given the freedom to do what they please, and each generation has defined that freedom. The true American experience will never be set in stone, because it changes all the time. At the end of his narrative, Pudge says: “Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘it’s very beautiful over there’. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.” That belief and that hope is the one thing future generations should never lose, for that hope is what fostered the nation that we constantly redefine.



Works Cited

Looking For Alaska
The Catcher in the Rye

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