The thesis portrays anddifferentiates between The Catcher in the Rye by Jerome David Salinger and TheHouse on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. In the beginning, both books seemed outrightdifferent. The Catcher in the Rye is a story narrated by Holden Caulfield, a confusedand wretched boy whose family holds a successful reputation while doing hisvery best at separating himself from the world around him. On the other hand, TheHouse on Mango Street, which is often considered a feminist novel (Wissman 159),is a novel where a girl by the name of Esperanza Cordero, who illustrates herthoughts poetically as she grows up in a new suburban home slowly adapting.Required: Your revisedthesis: Both Salinger & Cisneroshighlights how Esperanza and Holden go through their differences, behaviors,and opinions as they figure their true identity. Yet, with them both beingyoung along with different experiences, in a way they have the same purpose/motive.However Salinger focuses on how Holden… While Cisneros emphasizes on Esperanzaand… Topic Sentences andQuotes Directions: Make sure your topic sentences represent your point/claimfor the paragraph (it should be clear which theme and book you discussing inyour paragraph.
) It should not be only about the plot of the book or about anoutside source yet. The topic sentences should clearly connect to your thesisthrough word glue. (see your research paper reference handout for help withthis and for help with transitions.) You need 4-6 topic sentences with at least1-2 quotes for each topic sentence that will help prove your topic sentence thatare from the novel and from your outside research.
Most of the quotes in yourresearch paper should be from the novels, with outside sources to support yourideas. (Topic Sentence 1:Transition + Topic sentence): One reason• Quote #1 with correct citation• Quote #2 (optional) with correctcitation (Topic Sentence 2:Transition + Topic sentence): Inaddition, • Quote #1 with correct citation• Quote #2 (optional) with correctcitation (Topic Sentence 3:Transition + Topic sentence): However,• Quote #1 with correct citation• Quote #2 (optional) with correctcitation (Topic Sentence 4:Transition + Topic sentence):• Quote #1 with correct citation• Quote #2 (optional) with correctcitation The whole time hedreams of being The Catcher in the Rye because it’s figurative demonstration ofhis aspiration to prevent children from “falling”. This indicates theintroduction into their corrupt world. Holden is going through the motions ashe is entering adulthood himself. In other words, he seems to be going intothis downward spiral, or in this case falling. Falling out offriendships/relationships, conversations, events, and even himself. “I didn’thave anything special to do, so I went down to the can and chewed the rag withhim while he was shaving.
We were the only ones in the can, because everybodywas still down at the game.” (Salinger 4, 15) Explaining how Holden keepsreminding the reader that he is not a part of what everyone else is doing; thathe is not like most people. “I thought of calling up this guy… Carl Luce, butI didn’t like him much. So I ended up not calling anybody. I came out of thebooth, after about twenty minutes or so, and got my bags and walked over tothat tunnel where the cabs are and got a cab.
” (Salinger 9, 35) This quote is aperfect example of how lonely Holden is. He wanted to call somebody, but can’tdecide because he kept thinking of a reason not to call them (feeling ofdisconnection from social life/society). In the end, Holdenrealizes kids have to fall in order to learn how to get up or else they willdepend on everything except themselves. I got pretty soaking wet, especially myneck and my pants. “My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of protection, ina way; but I got soaked anyway. I didn’t care, though.
I felt so damn happy allof sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around. I was damn nearbawling, I felt so damn happy, if you want to know the truth.” (Salinger 25,123) And then he is finally genuinely happy. So happy that he can sit in therain and be so happy he cries. In a way, I think instead of him seeing thenegativity in everything like he did before, he’s been through so many emotionsthat all the pessimism turns into positivity/happiness along with growth andcourage to find his true self again. 3.3 Relationships withParents and SiblingsHolden?s parents arenot very much present in his life – except for itsmaterial part.
Hisfather is completely absent from the novel and his mother onlyappears once, and talksonly to his sister Phoebe while Holden is hidden in the closet.The fact that it isimpossible for Holden to find guidance and understanding with hismother and father canbe explained by Holden?s despise toward the adult world: “Hefeels estranged fromhis elders because the world is theirs, one they have shaped andthat the does not wantto enter” (Finkelstein 222). Holden is lost and needs advice.Because he cannot seekthe help of his parents, he has to look elsewhere.
One of his possiblementors and positive role models could be his brotherD.B., who used to be “aterrific writer” (Salinger 1) and Holden clearly loves his earlywork. However, thetimes have changed for D.
B.: “D.B. has been Holden?s idol; butthe idol is crumbling,may even have crumbled, for D.B. has become a movie writer”(Oldsey 210).
At thetime of the novel, D.B. lives in Hollywood, writing screenplays forpopular films. Eventhough D.
B. is rich and famous, Holden strongly disapproves of hiscareer choices and heviews D.B. as a sellout, “a prostitute” (Salinger 2).His younger brotherAllie, with whom Holden obviously had a strongconnection, died whenHolden was twelve. This deeply affected Holden in many waysand in some ways hestill did not recover from the loss. Michael Cowan even suggeststhat “Holden on somesymbolic level seems to feel guilty about Allie?s death” (48).Having died before hereached puberty, Allie will never go through the changes thatHolden is going throughand that D.
B. already went through. Allie symbolises the purityof childhood thatstarts to be unreachable for Holden – “he stands for whatever is mostauthentic in Holden?slife” (Rowe 80). When Holden has a panic attack and is afraid ofdisappearing whilewalking on the Fifth Avenue, he begs Allie to save him; he starts21a mantra-like prayer tohis dead brother: “Allie, don?t let me disappear. Allie, don?t letme disappear. Allie,don?t let me disappear.
Please, Allie” (Salinger 198). Allie is notonly a spiritual powerfor Holden, but also his beloved brother. When Holden?s sister,Phoebe, asks him whathe likes, Holden says “Allie. I like Allie” (Salinger 171). WhenPhoebe reminds him thatAllie is dead, Holden reacts angrily: “Just because somebody?sdead, you just don?tstop liking them, for God?s sake – especially if they were abouta thousand times nicerthan the people you know that?re alive and all” (Salinger 171).Holden?s little sistertakes Holden back into the bleak reality, even though he does notlike it.Phoebe?s character isquite significant for the novel – after Allie, she isprobably the onlyperson that Holden trusts and she is probably the only character that iscapable of having aproper, not “phony” conversation with Holden. And even thoughshe is just nine yearsold and probably not able to understand everything Holden tellsher, in the end she isthe reason why he does not run away from home.
The cause of thismight be that she is aspure and innocent as Allie was and she does not fit in the crueladult world. In orderto protect her purity, Holden decides to stay with her.In The House on MangoStreet, family is one of the central topics. It isobvious that Esperanzaloves her parents, especially her mother, who is one of the mostvisible role models forEsperanza. In the vignette called “Hairs” (Cisneros, MangoStreet 7), in whichEsperanza recalls the morning ritual of crawling into her parents?bed, Esperanza?s motheris depicted as a caring figure, an embodiment of security,safety and stability.
It is also the mother who encourages Esperanza to study and to beas independent aspossible: “Esperanza, you go to school. Study hard. … Got to takecare all your own, shesays shaking her head” (Cisneros, Mango Street 91). She alsoadvises Esperanza notto be superficial like she was at her age: “Shame is a bad thing, 22you know.
It keeps youdown. You want to know why I quit school? Because I didn?thave nice clothes. Noclothes, but I had brains” (Cisneros, Mango Street 91). InEsperanza?s family, itis clearly the mother that takes care of the family, whereas herfather is thebreadwinner. His work is probably quite demanding – Esperanza describeshim as “my Papa, histhick hands and thick shoes, who wakes up tired in the dark, whocombs his hair withwater, drinks his coffee, and is gone before we wake” (Cisneros,Mango Street 57).
Calling his hands and shoes “thick” points out that he worksmanually and because he”is gone before we wake”, he is not mentioned very often inthe course of thenovel, for he is not present in Esperanza?s life as much as her mother,who is always at home.However, Thomas Matchie points out that “Esperanza actuallyloves her father,though as with Holden Caulfield?s he is virtually absent fromthe narrative” (69).The proof that Esperanza?s father is an important figure for heroccurs when he confinesto her that his father, Esperanza?s grandfather, died. The factthat Esperanza is thefirst person in the family that is told the news shows threeimportant things aboutthe relationship of Esperanza and her father: the first being thatuntil that moment, hedid not show his emotions in front of her, as Esperanza admits: “Ihave never seen Papacry” (Cisneros 56).
The second important feature ofthe relationship ofEsperanza and her father is that he sees her as a responsibleindividual: “Because Iam the oldest, my father had told me first, and now it is my turnto tell the others”(Cisneros 56). And finally, even though this situation is completelynew for Esperanza, sheis eager to console her father (as well as herself) the best wayshe can, showing himher love: “I hold Papa in my arms. I hold and hold and hold him”(Cisneros 57).As for her siblings,Esperanza does not mention her brothers very often –probably because theydo not talk to her and her sisters outside the house. Of all her 23brothers and sisters,she has the closest relationship with her younger sister Nenny,although it is notalways a loving relationship – sometimes, Nenny is more a burden forEsperanza than apartner: “Nenny is too young to be my friend.
She?s just my sister andthat was not myfault… she is my responsibility” (Cisneros, Mango Street 9). BecauseEsperanza?s mother hasresponsibilities around the house and her father has to work, itis Esperanza?s duty asan older sister to take care about Nenny. However, thisresponsibility affectsthe relationship of the sisters; while Esperanza wants a friend whowould be her equal andwould understand her problems, she has to babysit her babysister instead. Thisinvoluntary mothering role of Esperanza may also be one ofthe reasons why shedoes not want a family of her own and pursues her individualityinstead.
Marcienne Rocard claimsthat one of the features of Chicana literature isthat it is closelyfocused on “human relationships between generations” (57). This istrue in the case of TheHouse on Mango Street: Esperanza?s relationship with herparents is veryimportant for her and her mother is an influential role model forEsperanza, whileHolden?s parents are virtually absent from his narrative. The situationis quite opposite withthe brothers and sisters of these two characters: even thoughEsperanza has moresiblings than Holden does and she spends much more time withthem, particularly withher sister Nenny, she does not see her siblings as partners or rolemodels, which isdifferent from how Holden approaches Allie and Phoebe and probablyused to approach D.B.Being the oldest child in the family, Esperanza views herbrothers and sistersmore as a burden, while Holden approaches his siblings as ideals.