Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Catcher in the Rye and The Breakfast Club

With regards to my previous post, I'm trying to write as few posts as possible but while I keep trying, here's one more :D This post is 'bout a book I read a few days ago. The Catcher in the Rye. To be honest, there is really no story in the book. Just another guy traveling all over New York. The thing that stands out is it's narration. The book reminded me of The Breakfast Club a lot. Why?
  • Both portray teen angst. Teens criticizing each and every thing and mocking the values of which the society is built and all.
  • Both talk 'bout sexual issues in an open way. Though not a big deal today, it was when the book was released in the 50s era. The narrator talks 'bout losing virginity, cute asses, etc, etc... The Breakfast Club also had people(especially Claire) talking about her virginity and how she has to deal with the pressures of being the princess of the school, etc, etc. That's one reason why i think the movie and book were a generation ahead of their counterparts.
  • profanity, vulgarity and portrayal of sensitive issues. The narrator of the book makes extensive use of profanity. Calling everyone and anyone a goddamn phony bastard, he is shown drinking as a minor. In Breakfast Club too, Bender brings in pot and all the people in the detention start smoking pot.
  • Pop culture. Both had big impact on the pop culture. Many phrases like "sort of" as in I sort of liked it and "and all" as in I know it's bad and all.... slang like "screw up", "dough", "it kills me" etc, etc. all seem to have originated from this book. The movie too had a huge effect on the culture. It started the genre of high school movies, the concept of glorification of prom, sitting in the detention room thinking of ways to get out, etc...
  • and finally, the transformation of the protagonist(s) In both the book and the movie. The protagonists realize that they are not what they thought they were. Writing it here might not be a good idea as it might become a spoiler :D
All in all this guy put it right. If you thought like him when you were 16 or 17 years old, you are forgiven. If you still identify with him, you need to find some more joy, somehow…fake it ’til you make it. Do something.