Huckleberry Finn & Holden Caulfield
Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield take a journey into self-discovery. In " The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", Huck Finn is trying to find purpose and identity through conflicting morals. While Holden Caulfield in " Catcher in the Rye", is an adolescent struggling to find maturity and manhood. In comparison, they are both on a journey towards maturity and identity. Life itself is a journey full of bonding and experiences which leads to wisdom and understanding. Huck Finn is a young boy deciding which morals to follow. The quest for what's right is long and confusing. During his adventure he is forced to choose between his morals and his conscience. When Huck runs into the bounty hunters he is forced to make one of these decisions. He must choose whether to turn in his run-away slave friend, Jim, as his conscience advises or to trust his morals and protect his friend in need. Fortunately, his will is strong and he creates an elaborate lie to prevent Jim's capture. Huck seeks refuge in nature, where right and wrong don't exist and life's beauty is what is truly important. He mentions that nature is peaceful and he need not worry about either his morality or conscience but is allowed to ponder these personal discrepancies. Holden Caulfield, however, has a much more complex yet equally important struggle. His struggle is of his own hypocrisy and misunderstanding. This struggle can be overwhelming for some and it is for Holden who requires help to come to terms with maturity. Even though he is constantly speaking as if he is experienced in connection and bonding, they were always just façades. Holden thinks he is superior to his environment because he has a false knowledge of it and its workings. This is best explained by his reaction to his old friend June with whom he would like to have a meaningful relationship but can't come to grips on how to go about it.. In spite of his appearance of worldliness, he is really a "faker", a type that he despises. Both Huck and Holden must complete their own journeys to become complete individuals. This journey is only a step on the staircase of life which ultimately leads to inner-peace and happiness. Each experience is unique and powerful but are essential to getting the whole picture. What Huck finally realizes is that life's questions should be answered from the heart. He also decides that humanity has evolved into a corrupt species whose ideas aren't worth the "headache". His answer is to flee society and all of it's constraints and live in nature where he is free from civilization. Holden has a tougher decision to make since he must completely reverse his thinking. The first step is to realize his hypocrisy which he was able to do. Even though he was able to achieve this, it couldn't truly solve his problem and he was forced to seek professional help in the end. Fortunately, both characters ultimately progress onto the next step by some means outside the conformity of normality.