Compare and Contrast of Charlie and Holden

2023 words 9 pages
Holden and Charlie
In both the novels Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Chbosky’s the perks of being a wallflower, the main characters Holden Caulfield and Charlie are troubled teens. Although they were teenagers in different time periods they shared many similar teenage difficulties. Both novels portray a male protagonist growing up while struggling to find his identity, while loathing their lives. Thus both novels are of the coming of age genre. Both boys are socially awkward and are not able to integrate into society. In this case, Charlie is insulted by senior students of his high school, “God, that kid is such a fucking freak,” (Chbosky 145). Throughout the novel Holden and Charlie strive to become a part of society. While Charlie
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It is not surprising that this is a society that he rejects. All these small factors build up to Holden’s bitter view of life and leads to his self destruction. Charlie, very much like Holden, loses someone important: his aunt Helen. Throughout the novel Charlie expresses that Helen was the only one that had made him feel special, frequently telling him that she loved him. Charlie feels responsible for the death of Helen, because she died in a car crash trying to buy his birthday gift. Charlie also suffers another loss, Michael, a close friend from elementary school. Through reading Charlie’s letters it can be determined that Michael has committed suicide. When Charlie had first found out about the death of his best and only friend, he was unable to stop the tears from flowing. He cried so much that he was recommended a guidance counselor. Charlie felt responsible because as Michael’s friend he was not able to comfort Michael from the pain he was suffering. Crying seems to be Charlie’s way of expressing his emotion whereas Holden is more physical and breaks windows. Unlike Holden though, Charlie meets two new friends that help him get through life and is able to cope with the hardships of life. Both characters were originally unable to connect with anyone, but throughout the novel we see that both Holden and Charlie find at least one person with whom they are able to console and talk comfortably with.

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