Comparison of the Social Network and the Catcher in the Rye

1134 words 5 pages
Extended Study – Comparative Texts

Which techniques do J. D. Salinger and David Fincher use to explore the personal dilemmas of their protagonists, Holden Caulfield and Mark Zuckerberg, in The Catcher in the Rye and The Social Network?

In David Fincher’s The Social Network and J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, a story of two young men, Holden Caulfield and Mark Zuckerberg face many difficulties and ultimately are very vulnerable souls. The dilemmas that Holden and Mark face are alienation, betrayal and identity. Fincher and Salinger both use many techniques in order to highlight these dilemmas, including setting, the theme of friendship/loyalty and symbolism.

Fincher and Salinger both expose their protagonist’s dilemmas of
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The final dilemma that was brought up in the two narratives was the difficulty of having an identity within a community or society. The way in which Fincher and Salinger revealed this problem was through the technique of symbolism which was a technique used for many other dilemmas as well. The symbols that were used to represent both their characters and their identity were Holden’s red hunting hat and Mark’s company/hobby Facebook, as well as the internet itself. For Holden, is red hunting hat is his protection and safety. He thinks that the hat gives him identity and the fact that he wears it backwards reinforces this idea that he is different, he is dangerous, does not want to blend in with the ’phoneys’ and does not care what anyone thinks of his identity. However, Holden is in fact extremely self-conscious and worried what others think because he doesn’t wear it in public, reinforces his confusion and scared aloneness he gains from alienation. Holden is trying to gain an identity or a belonging in the world but the fact is that his hat is what is forbidding his progression of belongingness in society. The one thing that is he finds most secure is in reality the least secure for his progression into society. For Mark, Facebook is the one thing that keeps him going. It is the one thing that will not betray him, unlike all his friends and