A Comparison Of Catcher In The

Comparing Catcher in the Rye and Pygmalion and the Themes They Represent
In J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, muses at one point on the possibility of escaping from the world of confusion and “phonies” while George Bernard Shaw’s main character of Pygmalion, Eliza Dolittle, struggles to become a phony. The possible reason for this is that they both come from opposite backgrounds. Holden is a young, affluent teenager in 1950’s America who resents materialism and Eliza Dolittle is a young, indigent woman who is living in Britain during the late 1800’s trying to meet her material needs and wants. These ...

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happiness, treating others with good manners and equality are important, and pronunciation and terminology can “put you in your place” in terms of class.
Throughout the world’s history, pronunciation and the way a language is spoken indicates one’s place in society. This is quite apparent in Pygmalion. Eliza is a classic victim of being “put into her place” based on the way she speaks. She goes to Professor Higgins in hope that he will give her lessons on how to speak in a more refined. She says she wants “to be a lady in a flower shop stead of sellin at the corner of Tottenham Court Road. But they won’t take me unless I can talk more genteel” (23). This is precisely why she comes to Henry Higgins. He knows quite a bit about the study of speech. In fact, he is a professor of phonetics. He can “pronounce one hundred thirty vowel sounds” and “place any man within six miles” of their homes (15). ...

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he does not quite believe himself. For example, he says, “I’m a pacifist, if you want to know the truth” (26). When Holden is particularly angry, he swears more often. He says “That guy Morrow is about as sensitive as a god dam toilet seat” (55). His inability to properly communicate without have to rely on profanity to express himself shows Holden as a boy suffering from what some might call “teenage angst.” Holden, however, rarely shows his angst publicly. For the most part, he is composed in front of people; especially adults and strangers. If annoyed about something, he manages to say what he thinks in such a polite, disguised way, ...

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Added: 3/28/2008 12:52:28 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2100
Pages: 8

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