Fantasy and Illusion

Essay by RedneckboyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2005

download word file, 2 pages 4.0 1 reviews

Living in a fantasy is a theme which many writers of novels, songs, movies etc. use. Holden Caulfield, Neil Young's song "Sugar Mountain", Jay Gatsby, all exhibit a form of fantasy. Holden doesn't want to let go of his childhood and refuses to acknowledge he's growing up. In "Sugar Mountain" Neil Young describes what it's like to be young and the feeling you get when you realize your childhood is gone. Jay Gatsby, from The Great Gatsby, has a dream to be with someone which can never happen. All of them live in some sort of fantasy.

Holden Caulfield does not want to accept the fact that he's growing up. He tries to be mature by doing "adult" things like hiring a prostitute and somewhat proposing to a girl he describes as "a royal pain in the ass," but these don't make him an adult. Holden wants to stay in his childhood state by living it out through others.

When asked what he would like to be, he says "What I have to do, I have to catch (children) if they start to go over the cliff." This fantasy of his is to try to stop children from growing up because he cannot stop himself from growing up is what he actually wants to do for the rest of his life. Holden can't get past the fact that this is merely an illusion.

Neil Young's "Sugar Mountain" talks about how you can't live in childhood forever. The stanzas describe several points of someone's childhood at different stages. The last stanza stating "Now you say you're leavin' home...When you're findin' out it's real," describes the state of going from childhood to adulthood. At the end of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden is near this stage of life,