Donnie Darko and Holden Caulfield Comparison

Donnie Darko and Holden Caulfield Comparison

Holden and Donnie Darko are very similar characters. Their way of thinking and their common goal and decisions very well go hand in hand. To my perspective both Holden and Donnie Darko’s goal is to save young children from the mistakes and pain that they faced while growing up.

Image of Holden to the left and Donnie to the Right:

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For example in Catcher in the Rye, Holden talks about his mission of making sure his sister doesn’t get hurt when she falls while attempting to reach for the golden ring above her horse. Donnie Darko makes his belief clear when he reads his poem on Poetry Day. His poem says :” A storm that will swallow the children, And I will deliver them from the kingdom of pain , I will deliver the children back to their doorsteps / And send the monsters back to the underground , I’ll send them back to a place where no-one else can see them , Except for me , Because I am Donnie Darko.” To me, I believe this poem’s meaning is that Donnie Darko wants to save the young and innocent children from the “dark and horrible” experiences that come with growing up in life. It is also made obvious that Donnie wants to save the children from fear that is caused by pain.

Video of Donnie Darko reading his poem:


They both also believe that there sole purpose in life is to protect the youth. For example in “The Catcher in the Rye”, the only thing that matters to Holden is his little sister Phoebe. This is similar to how Donnie Darko sacrifices himself to save the lives of Gretchen, Frank, and his sister from painful deaths. In the end they both realize and come to the conclusion that the pain that is faced while growing up is inevitable and let it happen. We see this in “The Catcher in the Rye”, when Holden decides to let his sister fall when she attempts to reach for the golden ring above her horse. We also see this in Donnie Darko, when Donnie sacrifices his life so that Gretchen, Frank, and his sister can continue living, even though he knows that they will experience more pain and  through living their daily lives, than if they had died. To me, Holden  and Donnie are very similar characters, and they remain similar as their mentalities change in the end, when they decide that the pain and fear faced while growing is inevitable and is something that will experience in their lifetime.





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