Comparison between "Catcher in the Rye" and "Rebel without a cause"

Essay by attilasdJunior High, 9th grade March 2003

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

When one both reads Catcher in the Rye and sees Rebel Without a Cause, he or she can't help but wonder if the writers, Nicholas Ray and J.D. Salinger, somehow knew each other, or if one writer copied the ideas of the other. Jim Stark and Holden Caulfield, the two main characters of the stories, have so much in common that if they ever met one another, they would immediately become friends. The main theme that applies to both works is teenage rebellion. Holden and Jim seem to get into trouble often, which affects many different aspects of their lives, including their friends, family, school, location, and self-image.

Holden's and Jim's parents have very similar attitudes towards their children. They both appear to spoil their children indefinitely, a common display of parents during the 1950's. Jim's father mentioned that he bought Jim everything he wants, including a car and bicycle.

Holden said that his mother had recently sent ice skates to his school for him. Also, both parents show embarrassment of their children's delinquent behavior. Neither Jim's nor Holden's fathers are good role models for their sons. Jim feels that his father is cowardly, weak, and a chicken. Holden's father isn't ever around, since Holden is always at one boarding school or another. Furthermore, both sons feel misunderstood by their parents. The major difference between Holden's and Jim's families is that Holden's parents deal with his problems by sending him away to prep schools, whereas Jim's parents try to be more involved in their son's life and move with him from town to town. A minor difference in their families is that Jim is an only child, but Holden has three siblings.

Holden does not really have any friends. He constantly criticizes and complains about the people he interacts...