Christopher from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and Holden from J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

Christopher from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and Holden from J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye
Holden from ?The Catcher in the Rye? by J.D Salinger and Christopher from ?The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? by Mark Haddon are both two very interesting first person narrators in many different ways. Holden is a 17years old boy having difficulty staying in schools more than 6 months because he doesn?t work enough and Christopher is 15 years old and has asperger?s syndrome. This means that he has no feelings. The narrators are similar in some ways for example in the way of talking; they both have a restricted vocabulary. But there are more differences than similarities for instance Holden?s favourite subject is English because he is creative and Christopher prefers math and science since he seems to like facts. Their lives are very different and this is proven in their totally opposite personalities. Even though Christopher and Holden have semblances, Holden?s creativity and personality makes him a more appealing narrator. Although Christopher has a unique way of talking, we can relate more to Holden?s vocabulary and diction, which makes the reader understand him better. When looking at the similarities, both of these first person narrators make detailed descriptions, but usually on very different topics. Christopher?s descriptions are mainly about details that a normal person would not care about, such as the shape of the room he is in, and how many litres of air there is in it or how many holes there are in a shoe. Holden?s descriptions are more on his surroundings and the atmosphere.
Christopher?s sentence structure includes short and choppy sentences, rarely using comas when he is not talking about facts. He uses only ?and?, ?but? and ?because? as conjunctions in his writing, this makes his style unvaried and tends to be monotonous. Holden and Christopher are both informal in their tone, though Christopher doesn?t use any slang or swearing, while Holden uses them widely, for instance ?That sonuvabitchâ??..?("The Catcher in the Rye")(24). Both of these two narrators have a restricted vocabulary, repeating their words over and over again, for example Holden?s uses ?boy? very often. He also has a jumpy style of writing, he will be talking about something and change the subject completely or remember that he has to tell the reader something else ?I forgot to tell you about thatâ??? (?The Catcher in the Rye?)(7). Holden?s tone of voice is frequently sarcastic whereas Christopher never uses sarcasm because it is a feeling and he cannot understand feelings due to his illness. Christopher sometimes uses similes, but when he is using them, he compares himself for instance with machinery ?I sometimes think my mind as a machine but not always as a bread slicing machine. It makes it easier to explain to other people what is going inside." (?The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time?)(8). This shows his need to make comparison, but because of his lack of imagination he has to restrict himself to what he knows. While Christopher?s interest, in facts for example, makes him sometimes seem like an uninteresting character, the imagination that Holden shows is very attractive. Christopher has difficulty being creative due to his illness "I find it hard to imagine things that did not happen to me."(The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time pg5).This lack of creativity makes him frequently boring. Christopher is more of a scientific mathematic person because he very easily remembers facts and figures "I know all the countries of the world and their capital city and every prime number up to 7,507." ("The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")(2) or "Mostly, I read books about science and math.?(?The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")(5). On the other hand Holden?s interest is more in English because he can be creative "That sonuvabitch Hartzell thinks you?re a hot-shot in English" (?The Catcher in the Rye?)(14). Christopher, on the contrary of Holden doesn?t have a social life. Christopher due to his illness, doesn?t feel comfortable with other humans. He prefers dogs because they do not have complicated emotions and he can understand them better "I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating. Also dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they can?t talk.?(?The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")(4). People have too many feelings that Christopher cannot understand. When we think about this, we find out that we can only consider him as partly human; we can even compare him with a robot. On the other hand, Holden is a very social person. He might not have a lot of close friends but it looks like he knows a lot of people and a lot of those people consider him as their friend. Holden is very down to earth and he usually knows what he wants. He tends to judge people on how good they are at being a person but this is without bragging about himself. This is very different for Christopher because he doesn?t judge things he just says if he likes them or not, for instance ?I like the police.?("The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")(7). He is always direct in his sentences, he has no sense of humour or sarcasm and doesn?t understand feelings such as frustration "And now if I don?t know what someone is saying I ask them what they mean or walk away."(3). Holden uses sarcasm often when he is talking to other characters in the novel and he frequently lies "I?m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.?(?The Catcher in the Rye")( ) this might be because he isn?t confident enough to tell the truth or because he cannot endure certain situations. I do not think that Christopher lies because he might not understand it. Holden hates one kind of people, phoney people "One of the reason I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phoneys. That?s all. (?The Catcher in the Rye?) (17-18) this is a very important aspect of his personality because it comes back very often throughout the whole story and it also determines if he likes the person or not. On the other hand Christopher is scared of people he doesn?t know "I do not like people shouting at me. It makes me scared that they are going to hit me or touch me and I do not know what is going to happen." (?The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time?) (4) this contrasts with Holden?s hate of phoney people. Holden and Christopher are very original narrators and when you read the story it almost seems that you can hear them talk in your ear. The author of each narrator used many techniques to make that voice realistic. Holden and Christopher, because they are so different, will never talk about the same things. Holden and Christopher have detailed descriptions but on different topics. Holden uses an everyday vocabulary but Christopher?s is very plain because he uses no swear words, no slang, etcâ?? As I said, one of their greatest differences is their interest and they are at the complete opposite. It is the same with their social life. Holden is social and Christopher is antisocial. The life that they have lived has affected their personality. Christopher doesn?t try to understand people by himself, he will need to ask and if he still doesn?t understand he will walk away. Holden has no problem at interpreting emotions but he hates people who hide them, ?phoney people?. Though Christopher as a narrator is a very interesting and original point view, his illness makes his personality, his way of talking, his lack of imagination and of understanding people makes him monotonous and uninteresting. Holden is a narrator we can relate with because he is a teenager and sometimes we can recognize his thoughts as our own. Christopher is also to far away from us, it is impossible to relate to him, he is too robot like. Although both narrators are very interesting, I can relate to one and not the other and this makes him a better narrator.

Christopher from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and Holden from J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye 9.3 of 10 on the basis of 706 Review.