Did you actually ever provides a brother?”: Salinger’s Holden Caulfield and you will Faulkner’s Quentin Compson

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Did you actually ever provides a brother?”: Salinger’s Holden Caulfield and you will Faulkner’s Quentin Compson

| 10 March 2023

Did you actually ever provides a brother?”: Salinger’s Holden Caulfield and you will Faulkner’s Quentin Compson

Each other has extremely ambivalent thinking from the gender: while they cam or remember gender nearly always, plus offer in order to anyone else about their intimate knowledge and experience, they are both indeed fearful out-of gender, in reality is actually notice-admitted virgins

D. Salinger’s The fresh new Catcher on the Rye, just like the name ways, try a book constructed on literary parallels and you will allusions; this is why, the hero, Holden Caulfield, has been versus many almost every other emails, from each other Western and you will industry books.step one The brand new closest out of Holden’s bloodstream brothers, due to the fact actually a basic questionnaire of complaint off Salinger’s unique will show you, can be named Huckleberry Finn.2 And yes you’ll find prominent likenesses anywhere between Huck and you can Holden: both are troubled teenagers away from home–emotionally, linguistically, and you can geographically–from a grownup world which they see pretentious, hypocritical, low, horrible, and you can dangerous. step 3 Surprisingly, no matter if, this type of anxiousness and you will obsessions was only the of those presented by William Faulkner’s Quentin Compson, among the many protagonists of one’s Voice and the Outrage. The answer to the new neurotic decisions regarding both letters is going to be found in the Freudian idea away from anality, like just like the you to definitely chappy reviews concept might have been amplified and you will reinterpreted by such as for instance later psychologists given that Norman O. Brown and Ernest Becker. Both Holden and Quentin showcase personality traits which can be associated with the people whoever innovation could have been detained at rectal stage.

The outside similarities between them letters can be dependent, and you can striking. They are both brilliant, sensitive and painful, introspective, well-told teenagers: Holden try good seventeen-year-old creating college student whom reads “a great deal” (18) and you may whoever ideal topic is actually English (110); Quentin try a keen eighteen-year-old freshman at Harvard you never know Latin and you may quotes St. Francis. cuatro Additionally, each other Holden and you can Quentin enterprise their intimate stress onto the sisters, following a safety, “big brother” thoughts and looking to help you club the fresh new sisters’ entry on the carnal studies. Eventually, their puzzled and disturbed rational says lead both Holden and you may Quentin so you’re able to consider suicide.5 Quentin, of course, in the place of Holden, in reality pursue using into the his death wish, to shop for a pair of flat-irons for human anatomy loads after which hurling himself from a link towards Charles River.

Nevertheless the greatest specifics of Holden Caulfield’s characterization –their paralyzing anxiety about sex, his very protective feelings toward their sibling, and his awesome substandard preoccupation that have passing–was lost in Twain’s portrait of Huck

While the suggested earlier, the fresh unifying mental factor hidden both Holden and you will Quentin’s stress and anxiety from sex, female, and you will dying is going to be based in the Freudian theory of anality. Predicated on Freud, the explanation of all mature neurosis is usually to be utilized in the fresh new suppressed intimate wishes away from youthfulness. Freud posited three level regarding infantile sexual invention: the brand new dental (beginning in order to twelve months), between the facts from drawing and you can biting; this new rectal (you to 3 years), targeting the children’s fascination with the fresh new arse and you can feces; together with phallic (two and a half to help you half a dozen age), emphasizing the latest children’s advancement of snatch. Whether your children’s passing using every one of these phases is not negotiated effortlessly and you can happily, new suppressed pushes have a tendency to resurface within the adulthood when it comes to various neuroses. Based on Freud, the fresh adult character traits that are from the denial and you can repression inside anal stage are orderliness (and neatness), obstinacy, and you will parsimony (otherwise possessiveness).six

For Freud, rectal fascination and you can enjoy, such as the children’s tips inside almost every other phase of infantile invention, are primarily assertions of the pleasure principle along the reality and you may morality values–exactly what can be looked at inside retrospect since the useless efforts out-of the kid so you can embrace so you’re able to a keen Edenic realm of innocent versatility and play when confronted with impending exile on mature arena of functions and obligation. But later psychologists instance Norman O. Brown and you may Ernest Becker provides assisted me to just remember that , the newest issue is considerably more challenging than just also Freud got accepted. In his informative and influential guide, Lives Facing Passing, Brownish contends one what exactly is very becoming stamped toward consciousness of each folks within the anal stage is absolutely nothing faster than simply “the argument anywhere between the animal system, rightly epitomized about anal mode, and you will all of our pretentious sublimations, so much more specifically brand new pretensions out of sublimated or romantic-Platonic like” (186). Put another way, new rectal standing signifies this new children’s very first run into having mortality and you may decay. While the Becker notes, echoing Brown, “Which have rectal play the man is becoming an effective philosopher of the human being standing. However, as with any philosophers he’s nevertheless bound by it, with his fundamental activity in daily life gets new denial regarding what the arsehole stands for: that actually, he or she is only human body in which character can be involved. Nature’s beliefs are real values, peoples beliefs was intellectual philosophy, and although it make the loftiest aircraft he is founded through to a stool, impossible without it, constantly cut back to it” (31). The conflict experienced by kid at the rectal phase, for this reason, is that of your own body versus your brain otherwise heart, the true in the place of the ideal.

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