The Perks Of Being A Wallflower And Catcher In The Rye

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While societal attitudes attitudes may change over time, the challenges associated with the transition from childhood to adulthood remain constant. The ideas of individuality, alienation and loss of innocence fortify the theme of coming of age across the texts The Catcher in the Rye and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The Catcher in the Rye, a bildungsroman novel written by J.D. Salinger in 1951, focuses on teenager Holden Caulfield’s transition from childhood to adulthood in 1950’s America, whereas the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower directed by Stephen Chbosky in 2012 follows teenager Charlie experiencing a similar transition in 1990’s America. Despite their varying contexts, these ideas are presented in both texts through the use the…show more content…
Symbolism is prominent throughout both works, representing many aspects of Holden and Charlie’s personalities. Holden frequently mentions the ducks in the pond and wonders where they go in winter. The ducks represent Holden and the freezing of the pond represents adulthood, symbolising him questioning where he will belong as an adult. However, the ducks always return, which he interprets as the ducks always make it through their winter so he can too. Furthermore, the red hunting hat worn by Holden in The Catcher in the Rye is a unique symbol of his individuality, with his tendency to wear it only when he is alone suggesting an outward appearance of conformity. Symbols in The Perks of Being a Wallflower further allude to the idea of individuality, with Charlie and his friends performing The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This musical is an ultimate symbol of individuality, and performing it allows Charlie and his friends to feel as if they belong. The other symbol representing Charlie’s passage into adulthood is the tunnel he drives through with his friends, causing him live in the moment and ‘feel infinite’. These stylistic features illustrate aspects of coming of age for both

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