A Comparison Of The Catcher In The Rye And The Adventures Of Huck Finn

The forthcoming of American literature proposes two distinct
Realistic novels portraying characters which are tested with a plethora
of adventures. In this essay, two great American novels are compared:
The Adventures of Huck Finn by Mark Twain and The Catcher In The Rye by
J.D. Salinger. The Adventures of Huck Finn is a novel based on the
adventures of a boy named Huck Finn, who along with a slave, Jim, make
their way along the Mississippi River during the Nineteenth Century.
The Catcher In The Rye is a novel about a young man called Holden
Caulfield, who travels from Pencey Prep to New York City struggling with
his own neurotic problems. These two novels can be compared using the
Cosmogonic Cycle with both literal and symbolic interpretations.
The Cosmogonic Cycle is a name for a universal and archetypal
situation. There are six parts that make up the cycle: the call to
adventure, the threshold crossing, the road of trials, the supreme test,
a flight or a flee, and finally a return. There are more parts they do
not necessarily fall into the same order, examples of these are symbolic
death and motifs. The Cosmogonic Cycle is an interesting way to
interpret literature because is Universal or correlates with any time
period and any situation.
The Call to Adventure is the first of the Cosmogonic Cycle. It is
the actual "call to adventure" that one receives to begin the cycle.
There are many ways that this is found in literature including going by
desire, by chance, by abduction, and by being lured by an outside
force. In The Adventures of Huck Finn, Huck is forced with the dilemma
of whether to stay with his father and continue to be abused or to
leave. Huck goes because he desires to begin his journey. In The
Catcher In The Rye, Holden mentally is torn between experience and
innocence, it would seem to him that an outside force is luring him to
do something but in actuality he is beginning his journey because of his
desire. The Call to Adventure is the first step in the Cosmogonic
Cycle, it is the step at which the character or hero is brought into
The Threshold Crossing is the second step, it is the place or the
person that which the character crosses over or through into the Zone
Unknown. The Zone Unknown being the place where the journey takes
place. The threshold crossing is often associated with a character
change or an appearance change. An example of this is in The Wizard of
Oz, when the movie goes from black and white to color, showing a visual
symbolic death. A symbolic death is another part to the Cosmogonic
Cycle of which the character goes through a change and emerges a more
complete person or more experienced. In The Adventures of Huck Finn, a
symbolic death is very apparent during the scene in which Huck sets up
his fatherís cabin to look like Huck was brutally murder. Huck emerges
as a runway child and now must be careful of what he does, so that he
does not get caught. Huck also tells people false aliases for himself
so that no one knows his true identity. Every time that he does this he
is symbolically dying and reemerges a more experienced person. In The
Catcher In The Rye, Holden also uses fake names, but Holden symbolically
dies through fainting, changing the position of his red hunting hat, and
is associated with bathrooms. The bathroom motif, or the reoccurring
appearance of a bathroom, symbolizes death for Holden because he enters
bathrooms with a neurotic and pragmatic frame of mind and exits with a
cleared mind. The use of symbolic death and motifs is associated with
the Threshold Crossing, the second step of the Cosmogonic Cycle.
The Road of Trials is the next step in the Cosmogonic Cycle, which
are the obstacles which the character faces throughout the literary
work. In The Adventures of Huck Finn, Huckís Road of Trials occurs on
the Mississippi River. He faces many obstacles, including moral
decisions of right and wrong, dealing with con-artists, and helping a
runaway slave. He promulgates more experienced from his journey down
the river on his raft. In The Catcher In The Rye, Holdenís Road of
Trials takes from Pencey Prep to New York City. Holden deals with his
own mental hallucinations, cognative disotience, and his desire to stay
innocence, his Peter Pan complex. The author does not end the novel
with a happy