Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Love Me 3

So, I finished The Catcher in the Rye last night, and now I'm bound to consider the similarities and differences between Holden and Corus.
Both protags are distanced from the world and become social critics. Holden sees 'phoniness' whilst Corus sees a breakdown of moral integrity.
Both protags admire the honesty of children (and I'd suggest that it is Phoebe who 'saves' Holden, and this is symbolized by the wearing of the hunting hat), notably so when juxtaposed with the dishonesty (phoniness) of adults (and the adults in my novel lie and cheat and ultimately disappoint Corus).
And, curiously, both Holden and Corus are self-deprecatory.
Now, Holden is unsure of himself. This certainly helps with the bonding process. Corus, on the surface, is confident, and this could be damaging? Not sure. But Corus does question reality and accept that all he knows and believes might be wrong; but he has to accept some sort of truth - some sort of moral code - and he chooses what he believes is the most logical and necessary truth.
Perhaps the most notable difference is that Holden is a teenage boy, whereas Corus is twice Holden's age. It is easy to empathise with Holden: most men will remember the turbulence of teenage years, the bars that would serve minors and the ones that wouldn't, the fumbling forays into sex, the pressures of school work and the expectations of parents. Moreover, Holden chooses to share these experiences with the reader. Corus is far more reserved: not only does he hold the world at a distance, but I'm also beginning to think that he is too reserved with the reader too. It's a peculiar thought, that Corus would regard the reader as someone to be trusted when he denies the rest of the adult world that trust. But I think this is something I should consider. Reader as best chum! Holden frequently addresses the reader direct with 'You should have seen it!' and the like. What would happen if I adopted this for Corus' musings? It's a doddle to make Corus (more) instantly likeable, and I've already lined up a bunch of characters who will allow Corus to demonstrate his kindness. But I think (I hope) that an extra bond - a less formal interaction with the reader - will solve any problems I might have been experiencing.

No comments: