Comparing "The Adventures of Huck Finn" and "The Catcher in the Rye"

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 cycle.
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 father\'s 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, Huck\'s 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,
Holden\'s 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