Short on time?

Get essay writing help

The Catcher in the Rye vs the Perks of Being a Wallflower

Words: 861
Pages: 2
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Being a teenager is challenging on many levels, from fitting in, to passing school, to fighting with your parents, these years are a struggle but they have a large impact on who you grow up to be. As a teen these hardships can cause many emotions, and without an outlet to share and express their feelings, they often end up taking a toll on a teens mental health. This dangerous accumulation of troubles leads to emotional instability. In the stories, ​the Catcher in the Rye, ​and, ​the Perks of Being a Wallflower​, the main characters, Holden and Charlie, both experience the struggles of belonging which multiply when they are left with no way to share and understand these feelings.

In the stories, Holden and Charlie both share a similar desire to save people from pain. As they become adults, they see the true amounts of pain in the world and they are overwhelmed byit. This causes them to put others before themselves and self-sacrifice which leads to ignoring their own problems. One example of this would be when Charlie fights Brad’s friends to save Patrick, because Charlie wants to end Patrick’s pain. Even though he wasn't on good terms with Patrick at that time, he still saved him because he knew Patrick didn’t deserve it “I just couldn't watch them hurt Patrick even if things weren't clear just yet” (Chybosky). However, in doing so he is hurting himself because he gets in trouble with the school when it was not his responsibility to get involved in the first place. Another example would be when Holden speaks of being the catcher in the rye, as he wants to save children from losing innocence 'Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be” (Salinger). Similar to Charlie’s experience, Holden finds trouble in burdening himself with this job. Because all his focus goes to saving children’s innocence, he loses his potential to put his energy into a different cause that could better benefit his future. Some might say that attempting to save children’s innocence is a hopeless cause because of society’s standards today. Meaning that Holden is self sacrificing for something impossible and therefor unattainable. Holden and Charlie’s desire to help people who did not ask for it stops them from helping themselves.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

When Holden and Charlie make mistakes, they tend to become extremely regretful and put all of the blame on themselves. These burdens weighs heavy on a young mind and left unprocessed can escalate. The reader sees this escalation in Charlie when he starts spiraling into depression when he is in conflict with his friends. This conflict occurs after he and his girlfriend break up, and their friends were on her side. This event left him devastated and isolated “I don't know how much longer I can keep going without a friend. I used to be able to do it very easily, but that was before I knew what having a friend was like” (Chybosky). A sense of being alone and losing valuable relationships hurts his sense of self confidence, and blocks him from progressing further because he is stuck in the past. A similar escalation is seen with Holden as he continuously thinks about things he wishes he did differently in the past, causing regret and despair. An example of this is when he stands in the mirror and thinks about hurting Maurice after their argument is over “He’d see me with the automatic in my hand, and he’d start screaming at me, in this very high-pitched, yellow belly voice, to leave him alone. But I’d plug him anyway” (Salinger 104). Holden is unable to let go of the past and move forward which is detrimental to his personal growth and functioning. Problems with friends and other similar issues are a heavy burden to bear, especially when dealing with them alone. These issues prevent further growth and self improvement because it leaves those struggling in the past rather than progressing to the future.

Holden and Charlie both struggle at being alone without support to deal with their problems, as well as saving others rather than helping themselves. As they see the real amount of pain in the world, it overwhelms them, and it causes them to act irrational and emotional sometimes. They feel as if they need to save everyone from feeling the same type of pain and suffering as he has felt. Holden and Charlie both show common problems shared amongst teens, and the authors wrote these books to give teens a relatable protagonist to empathize with.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

The Catcher in the Rye vs the Perks of Being a Wallflower. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
“The Catcher in the Rye vs the Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022,
The Catcher in the Rye vs the Perks of Being a Wallflower. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
The Catcher in the Rye vs the Perks of Being a Wallflower [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.