Monday, 16 May 2011

Archetypal discontent

Winston Smith in Nineteen Eight-Four, Holden Caufield in The Catcher in the Rye, Salvatore Paradise in On the Road, Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, et al. Young men disenchanted with their surroundings and yearning of idealism and rationally egotistical happiness. They abhor normality as much as they resent complacency. Their fictional existentialist circumstances and fates may vary in fortune and nature; Winston is tortured and indoctrinated into totalitarian conformity, Holden comes to emotional redemption through the love of his siblings, Carraway finds proverbial optimism through reflections of his negativity, while Salvatore laments of Dean Moriarty's companionship after the immense immediacy of their travels. But the underlying character of their empathy holds resonating comfort.

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