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Common Themes and Ideas in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and the Catcher in the Rye

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In the book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Nighttime and the catcher in the rye many underlying themes greatly contribute to the story. However, the theme that stuck out the most to me was lying and deceit. Lying and deceit are two very controversial traits that can thoroughly mess with people and relationships. A small college study out of the University of Massachusetts showed that “60 percent of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation and told an average of two to three lies.” In The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Nighttime this trait of lying was never used by our main character Christopher, However lying was used by the people around us. Christopher was a young boy with a complex mind and had a strange way of emotions. A leading example of this was stated, “I did it for your good Christopher. Honestly, I never meant to lie.” (Haddon.114). This was after Christopher had read letters from his mom proving she’s not dead that his dad had hidden from him all these years. This quote proved how upset Christopher was after this confrontation and how it affected his and the dad’s relationship. Christopher was just unable to lie simply because he thought it was morally wrong leading him to just not do it. On the other hand in the book Catcher in the Rye Holden was the main character living his day to day life by lies and deceitful comments towards others to receive a certain outcome. However, the outcome he wants never comes are simply because everyone believes his lies and he proceeds to be exceedingly angry about that. (find the quote at the beginning of the book at the dance floor with the three ladies and how he lied and use that in this essay.) Both Characters seem to react to lying similarly even if they aren’t the ones lying. They both seem to have mental breakdowns and react quite poorly to the situation when to most it would be not a big deal. Overall lying and deceit have seriously impacted each one of these characters day to day circumstances causing brand new conflicts to both novels.

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Nighttime this trait of lying was never used by our main character Christopher, However lying was used by the people around him. Lying was used towards Christopher by many people around him. His dad lied about his mother is dead, and many others around Christopher lied which was detrimental to him due to the lack of processing skills. Later into the book lying was shown after a big argument between Christopher and his Father. “Yes,” because loving someone is helping them when they get into trouble, and looking after them, and telling them the truth.” Christopher believes if you love someone you should never lie otherwise what is the point of their presence if they are just a burden to him. Christopher only believes this because he is completely against lying, it doesn’t matter the extremity of the situation, it is wrong. This affected Christopher and his father’s relationship after this dispute, and it’s where it went downhill.

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In The Catcher in the Rye lying and deceit became manifested early on in the book employed by the main character Holden Caulfield. Holden seems to lie to present himself as someone different than others. This potentially isolates himself from people because he doesn’t allow himself to be who he is, or get close to people. Holden admits to lying frequently, saying, ‘I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.’ (Sallinger.16) Holden confesses that he lies a lot and he describes it as “terrible”, but he can’t help himself when he comes into situations where he can get away with lying.This potentially isolates himself from people because he doesn’t allow himself to be who he is, or get close to people. When people try to make personal connections or ask more personal questions, Holden lies to avoid such things. He ends up doing this because he does not want to feel the same pain he felt after his brother died. Holden also seems to lie to direct attention away from him and avoid possible questioning and confrontation.

In both novels, Holden and Christopher have a few things in common and that’s the way they react to when they don’t get the outcome they wanted. They both isolate themselves from people because they don’t allow themselves to be who they are and know that growth is inevitable, and you can’t just stay the same forever. Christopher is stuck in his head when Holden is as well. They both seem to over-analyze and have an unorthodox way of perceiving people’s responses and actions, as well as gullibility. These instances come up constantly making things difficult for them to handle daily interactions without being awkward.

Overall lying and deceit have seriously impacted every one of these characters day to day circumstances causing brand new conflicts to both novels. Salinger and Hadden have taught us many points about the differences between these two characters and how Christopher doesn’t accept relationships nor lies, and Holden is usually the polar opposite. At the end of reading these two novels, I held onto the quirkiness and coming of age. Along with how unexplainably difficult across the board. But if there is one thing I learned from these two novels personalities are unlikely dispersed to different individuals, making teenhood sometimes is that every one is distinctively unique and despite flaws no one is perfect.

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Common Themes and Ideas in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and the Catcher in the Rye. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/common-themes-and-ideas-in-the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-nighttime-and-the-catcher-in-the-rye/
“Common Themes and Ideas in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and the Catcher in the Rye.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/common-themes-and-ideas-in-the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-nighttime-and-the-catcher-in-the-rye/
Common Themes and Ideas in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and the Catcher in the Rye. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/common-themes-and-ideas-in-the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-nighttime-and-the-catcher-in-the-rye/> [Accessed 5 Dec. 2022].
Common Themes and Ideas in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and the Catcher in the Rye [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2022 Dec 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/common-themes-and-ideas-in-the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-nighttime-and-the-catcher-in-the-rye/
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