Catcher In The Rye: A Literary Analysis

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“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it” (Steve Jobs). Death is something that everyone will experience eventually. It is a common ground that no human can escape. Whether it is the death of a loved one or a close friend, the inevitable loss often inflicts great pain on a person. It can change views, morals, or integrity. As demonstrated in the speculative fiction novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the fantasy book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, and the classic Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, characters come of age when they lose someone important. In Lord of the Flies, a speculative…show more content…
The story of Grandpa Abe’s life is not very well known among his family, but even Jacob knows that it “...wasn’t a fairy tale at all. It was a horror story” (Riggs 17). Even before Jacob is alive, Grandpa Abe’s family is torn apart during World War II and Abe is forced to make mature decisions and comes of age before one normally does. It is demonstrated throughout the story that Abe’s parenting skills were greatly influenced by him not having any father figure himself. After dealing with the tragedy of losing his family to a genocide, Abe is no longer able to sit back and watch more people face the pain he did. He discovers what he must do and goes to fight in the battle. When he returns, Abe Portman is no longer a bystander, he is “a changed man. He’d become a warrior” (Riggs 248). Abe and Jacob grew up decades apart, but one thing they shared was their experience with a quick change in mindset. After witnessing Abe’s death, Jacob states that “All I could think was that grandfathers were supposed to die in beds, in hushed places, not in heaps on the sodden reeking ground with ants marching over them, a brass letter opener clutched in one trembling hand” (Riggs 32). Loss shuffles his initial ideas and thoughts. Jacob is permanently scarred after seeing his role model being brutally murdered by a monster straight out of a storybook. He begins to wonder what is true and what lies he has been fed. He is unsure if monsters like the ones he thinks killed Abe could even exist at all. Even if they were, he wonders what someone would have to do to deserve to die so violently, especially considering all the other challenges Abe had to overcome. His beliefs about life are changed. Jacob can’t believe the truth of his grandfather’s last moments when they are revealed to him.

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