Catcher in the Rye
The Member Of The Wedding and The Catcher The Rye are both similar novels in the way adolescents want to belong to a group of people but there is one major difference. Frankie is looking to grow up so that she can fit in with the people around her while Holden wants to avoid adulthood completely as he sees the adult world as being false and corruptible.
In Member Of The Wedding Frankie feels like she doesnt fit in to a childs world. This is due to a number of reasons. She wishes now to belong to a more adult society.
Frankie feels alienated from the rest of her friends. When they play underneath the arbour Frankie doesnt fit because she is too tall. She resents this and sees her friends as ugly screaming kids. Frankie attempts to befriend the older girls but they say she smells and when they talk about sex Frankie doesnt understand referring to this as nasty lies. Here we see Frankie excluded from the adult world that she desires to belong to.
Frankie also feels excluded from her family. Her father wont allow her to sleep in the same bed as him anymore. He says that she is too big now. He is rarely at home and when he is he hardly speaks to Frankie. She attempts to converse with him but he just grunts at her. Eventually when he does talk to her he doesnt say much. After the wedding he shows a lack of understanding towards his daughter. She needs him but he tells her to wait until they are at home because then he will punish her for her behaviour. Berenice is the mother figure in her life but she returns to her own home and family in the evening. She feels excluded from Jarvis and Janice too because when they arrive home for a few days they invite Frankies father but not her. She feels this isnt very fair as she is also part of the family. This heightens Frankies isolation and also heightens her desire to belong to a group.
Frankie wants to belong to the navy and then decides to give blood to the Red Cross. She is refused on both accounts because she is too young. She thinks the freaks and criminals are trying to make eye contact with her so she can join their group but Frankie does not want that. These are images of isolation. She also tries to form a group with the soldier. We know she is not ready for adulthood as she is not mature enough when she says that he was talking double talk.
Frankie decides to join the wedding group with Jarvis and Janice. She even changes her name to F.Jasmine to make it similar to their names. She now starts to feel a connection with humanity. The feelings of alienation melt away but return after the wedding. She quickly realises that she is not a member of anything and feels crushed.
We see that the adult world excludes Frankie time and time again. The final straw is after the wedding. She realises that she was being foolish and develops a degree of insensitivity. She now has a new friend Mary. They have many interests in common such as poetry and art. She now forms her own club and learns to exclude people like Bernice and feels like she is beginning to belong. If this degree of insensitivity is developed further Frankie will have no problems joining adulthood
In the novel The Catcher In The Rye Holden Caulfield has the desire to belong to childhood. He sees the adults in this world as phony and therefore does not want to turn in to one. Holden has many options to deal with this problem.
One option would be for him to give in and step in to adulthood and live the life of a phony. He doesnt really see himself doing this however as it would be going against what he believed in. Another option for him would be to become an adult and devise some career to be a catcher in the rye. He could also reject the world completely and become a monk. He