Catcher In The Rye Archetypes

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Throughout his career, Carl Jung developed an understanding of archetypes as universal, patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are understood by all cultures of having a certain representation or symbolic meaning. In both A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Bugress and Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, the archetypes of the outsider and entrapment are portrayed through the main character and their journeys. In fact, both novels outsider character archetypes are amplified by the entrapment setting archetype. The character archetype of the outsider entails a character banished from a social group for some real or imagined crime against his fellow man, usually destined to wander from place to place. There are different…show more content…
An outsider often shows an attitude of profound freedom, a feeling of powerlessness, or rage over perceived injustice. This archetype is embodied by Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye and Alex LeGrand from A Clockwork Orange. The setting archetype of entrapment entails a place either physical, mental, or imaginary (dream or such) which isolates a character from their comfort area. In Catcher in the Rye this is Pencey Prep and in A Clockwork Orange this is jail. Holden Caulfield is a prime example of the outsider character archetype. Throughout the novel, Salinger uses narration to characterize Holden; he is a procrastinating student who believes himself to be rejected by others. He hides his intelligence to keep his youth and innocence which in turn makes him outcastes by the others in Pencey Prep. "Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it's a game. but if you get on the side where there are no hot-shots at all, then what's the game about? Nothing. No game." (Salinger 8)Holden is a character who is afraid of himself and what he could do if he matured and…show more content…
Classic in it's archetype, the jail isolates Alex from society and enhances his outsider archetype. Alex is the youngest person in his cell which allows him to be cast aside and looked on as prey by the older gentlemen. "So then he started on me, me being the youngest there, saying that as the youngest I ought to be the one to zasnoot on the floor not him. " (Bugress 65). Through the actions of the other characters in the book, Alex learns to trust others less and less leadin him to pursue religion while in jail. His interest in religion combined with his other odd likes and dislikes makes him easy to cast out in the institutionalized facility. "What an odd lot they were, I thought, as I stood there by the starry chapel stereo, viddying them all shuffle out going marrrrre and baaaaaa like animals and up-your-piping with their grahzny fingers at me, because it looked like I was special favoured." (Bugress 61) Proceeding his isolation in jail Alex makes the decision to enter the Ludovico's technique trial run which ultimately becomes the most major plot point in A Clockwork

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