“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
In J. D. Salinger’s work, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Morrisey Caulfield is a fictitious character. The central protagonist and narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is Holden Caulfield. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book written by Mark Twain, an American novelist. Even though Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield possess various similarities, including their nonconformist personalities, they have separate backgrounds and childhoods that resulted in distinctions in decision-making and worldviews. Everyone strives for self-knowledge, but these paths are unique for everyone. Throughout puberty and youth, one of the most important periods of self-discovery arises. Coming of age literature include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye.
Both Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield, the main protagonists, go on a trip of self-discovery. Huck wants to discover meaning and identity through clashing ideals when he states that humans may be incredibly harsh to one another (Twain, 2021). Furthermore, when some unpredicted and negative situations occur, Huckleberry supposes that is the way it is with certain individuals and their shortcomings (Twain, 2021). Holden is a teenager struggling to achieve growth into manhood, and these events result in their maturity and consciousness of identity (Salinger, 2019). They are misfits, although they have relatives and neighbors for the sake of conviction, but they release themselves from the constraints of society that would make them its slaves. However, for society, they are both just hooligans who do not represent anything. They are realists, as well as clever and perceptive, especially when concerning uncovering the deception in the people and culture they live in.
The protagonists are mentally confused, but logically consistent and intellectually honest, and their ongoing war with the powers exemplifies their autonomous mind and independent spirit. Their inner morality is opposed by what they have been fed from the outside world. The more children engage with the real adult world, the more of the deceits they encounter. Both Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield have high ethical standards that they adhere ruthlessly to themselves as well as to everyone else. The characters have a morality that is presented differently than the outside world. They feel there are many more “artificial” individuals in the world than there are decent people, as Holden described his worldview (Salinger, 2019). Holden believes that movies and the filmmaking business are the phony components of the world since they provide a totally misleading image of reality and deceive their consumers. Holden is extremely sensitive to the notion of sham that he observes it almost wherever he goes (Salinger, 2019). Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield have many characteristics in common, including a persistent search for authenticity and a profound dislike of hypocrisy.
Despite the fact that Huck and Holden come from diverse origins, they have similar observations and experiences. The adolescent teenagers serve as narrators in both works, reflecting on issues of the day. Holden is portrayed as critical, which sets him different from Huck, who was more analytical than hypercritical in contrast. Holden, for instance, appears to have a critical word for everyone, whether it is calling his elder brother a “prostitute” for relocating to Hollywood or criticizing his professors in class for being strange or “phony” (Salinger, 2019). It is also depicted in his words: “I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though” (Salinger, 2019, p. 52). This is how his slight arrogance is reflected, which, however, makes Holden more unique.
While it is feasible to consider this to be one of his drawbacks, it might equally be counted as one of his unique qualities. Conversely, Huck encounters individuals, for example, Sally Phelps, who espouse moral norms and ethical principles yet are discriminatory slave owners (Twain, 2021). Holden’s capacity to form judgements enables him to see beyond the surface layers and into the “phoniness” of practically everyone he meets. As he perceives his future, Holden is against the regularity that he feels defines the life of an ordinary individual.
Concerning the comparison of Huckleberry and Holden, it is possible to emphasize distinctions. Holden includes not only fakeness, but also inauthenticity and formality in his broad definition of phony. Unlike Holden, Huck comes from the lowest level of white society, with alcoholic parents who often disappear without a trace for long periods of time. While Holden is willing to judge others, Huck has a distrust of people that stems from his instincts, and his travels on the Mississippi River make him doubt society more. Thus, he said: “It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another”. (Twain, 2021, p. 253). Twain demonstrates how Huck analyzes rationally, benefits from his experiences, and reacts to his conscience before deciding to “go to hell” rather than follow society’s laws and beliefs (Twain, 2021). Both characters possess negative emotions that originated from family issues and, in addition, have the same attitude for schoolwork.
In conclusion, the main characters, Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield, embark on a journey of self-discovery. Huck seeks purpose and identity through opposing values, while Holden is a teenager trying to become a man, and these events culminate in their maturity and awareness of identity. The characters are mentally ill, yet logically and intellectually sound, and their constant battle with the forces illustrates their autonomous mind and soul. Both Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield have high ethical standards to which they firmly adhere, both to themselves and to others. Holden, as he sees his future, is opposed to the regularity that he believes defines an ordinary person’s existence.
Salinger, J. D. (2019). The Catcher in the Rye. Penguin UK.
Twain, M. (2021). The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Independently Published.