Ferris Bueller and Catcher in the Rye Comparative Essay

1031 words 5 pages
Ferris Bueller and Catcher in the Rye – Comparative Essay
Salinger’s 1951 novel, “The Catcher in the Rye”, and John Hughes’ 1987 teenage comedy film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, both reflect the lives of teenagers in a time span of nearly 40 years. The two authors successfully convey society’s values on materialism and education in the two different eras using language and a variety of techniques. These values have affected both Holden Caufield and Ferris Bueller, the former negatively and the latter positively, as will now be discussed.
Salinger was born in New York in 1919 and wrote The Catcher in the Rye in 1951, and the values in the book reflected values in America at that time. A major value which society followed during that era
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The story of the death of James Castle backs up the impacts of corruption on the education system. The fact that James Castle was “forced to take back what he said” shows the kind of students that come out of what are supposed to be fine, high-class private schools. Salinger effectively conveys Holden’s thoughts on the quality and standards of the corrupt private schools.
In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the education system is also portrayed as negative in the 1980’s. As materialism was such a large value in society at the time, the education system reflected the commercialisation of American society. The school in which Ferris Bueller goes to has a subject called “consumer ed”, which shows the amount of consumerist values in society. The juxtaposition of the scene of Ferris at home with loud music and high spirits and the classroom scene of the monotonous teacher marking the roll makes the audience agree with Ferris when he says that school “is a little childish and stupid”. Ed Rooney is the Dean of the school but is portrayed as a character of little class and of comedy value. His repeated use of clichés during the phone call with Mrs Bueller, such as, “wake up and smell the coffee” further proves that he has no class. Ed Rooney is only concerned about punishment and “sniffing out the bad apples” rather than the quality of education. The scene showing Rooney running and stopping at every class window shows that he is only interested in the appearance and order of the

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