Written by J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye explores the recollections of an adolescent boy, Holden Caulfield, who experiences a nervous breakdown. Salinger illustrates Holden’s personal dilemmas through setting and characterisation to show the readers Holden’s isolation. The Social Network, directed by David Fincher, is a film of similar context, exploring the social isolation a college student, Mark Zuckerberg, faces while creating the billion dollar social media platform known as Facebook. Like Salinger, Fincher presents Mark’s personal dilemmas through setting and characterisation to illustrate the isolation Mark faces.
Salinger frequently uses the description of setting to illustrate Holden’s isolation. Salinger constantly describes Holden in colder and dark environments with little sense of vibrant atmosphere or warmth. Additionally, Holden is generally alone in the different environment’s he faces with few people to converse with. Holden’s isolation is specifically illustrated in the opening sequence of The Catcher in the Rye. Holden describes he is standing “…way up Thomsen Hill…” rather than being at the game where the majority of the students from Pencey Prep are.
The weather from what Holden explains “…was as cold as a witch’s teat…” Holden describes he is not at all watching the game from the hill and says “What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of good-by. ” Holden’s isolation is further shown when he begins to walk to old Spencer’s residents. At the point when Holden is crossing a road, readers can see Holden is clinically depressed. However, Salinger further illustrates Holden’s feeling by describing the day is overcast and snowy. This directly reflects on Holden’s feelings of isolation. The coldness of the climate matches his deteriorating mental state.
Holden has been expelled from prep school, he feels disliked by his classmates and his teachers. Holden feels alone and describes “…I felt like I was sort of disappearing. ” In The Social Network, Fincher also uses description of setting to prevail Marks Isolation. Similar to Salinger, Fincher principally films Mark surrounded by dark and cold environments with very few vibrant colours or atmosphere. Further, Fincher shoots a variety of different scenes with Mark alone in the environment. Although, to further illustrate Marks isolation, he assures there are many people conversing happily in the background.
Scene two is where Fincher illustrates Mark’s isolation significantly. Mark is running through a reasonably popular area where many people conversing around him, with a congestion of cars on the street and a vast, lit up city in the background. This has effect of making viewers feel lost or overwhelmed due to the multiple things occurring on scene, reflecting Mark’s feelings at this point in the film. Additionally, Fincher has chosen to shoot this scene at night, showing the dark ominous sky casting over the cold, wet streets where mark is living.
This allows viewers to further understand the emotion of this scene with the dark, plain colours representing sadness and anger; the emotions of Mark at this point in the film. Salinger’s use of Characterisation is also a key technique in illustrating the Isolation of Holden. Throughout the novel, Salinger shows Holden’s struggle to communicate with others, leading to his depression and isolation. Salinger introduces Holden’s lack of communication when he goes to visit old Spencer. Old Spencer asks Holden if he has communicated with his parents about his expulsion from Pencey Prep.
Holden replies with “No, sir, I haven’t communicated with them, because I’ll probably see them Wednesday night when I get home. ” This event shows Holden’s poor ability to discuss matters with adults. Holden’s Inability to contact his parents about his expulsion causes him to travel to New York where he only becomes more isolated and depressed. Additionally, Holden’s cynical outlook on others is also a principal factor contributing to his isolation. Although Holden longs for connection with others, he also drives them away.
This is particularly evident when Holden is at Ernie’s. Lillian Simmons, a girl who use to date D. B comes to the table with her date where Holden in sitting. While Holden converses with her, in his recollection he continues to make comments on her actions which irritate him exceedingly. Holden comments “She was blocking up the whole goddam traffic in the aisle. ” After becoming more irritated he begins to argue “you could tell the waiter didn’t like her much, you could even tell the Navy guy didn’t like her much…” He then concludes “And I didn’t like her much.
Nobody did. ” Out of frustration with Lillian, Holden proceeds to leave Ernie’s, causing him to feel more isolated as he walks the cold and dark streets of New York. Similar to Salinger, Fincher uses characterisation to illustrate Mark’s isolation in the film. Like Holden, Mark also has difficulty communicating with others contributing to his isolation. Scene one is where Fincher firstly shows Mark’s poor communication skills with others. Opening the scene, Mark is talking with Erica about various topics.
Fincher immediately shows Mark as an intellectual being due to the pace in which he is talking, however viewers are able to understand his character as the conversation progresses. It is evident in the conversation with Erica that Mark is over-analysing what is being said, thinking that Erica is “…talking in code…” On the topic of Finals Club, Erica asks Mark “…which is the easiest to get into? ” Becoming offended Marks argues “…you asked me which one was the easiest to get into because you think that that’s the one where I’ll have the best chance.
Further, Mark shows little emotion or feeling causing him to comment on various things which are extremely harmful to Erica. Fincher makes this evident when Mark states “Erica, the reason we are able to sit here and drink right now is because you use to sleep with the door guy. ” Further, Mark argues with Erica “you don’t need to study. ” Becoming aggravated, Erica ask “why do you keep saying I don’t need to study? ” which Mark replies with “because you go to B. U. ” After becoming extremely offended, Erica leaves Mark alone in the pub.
From this scene, viewers are able immediately see the poor communication and sense of feeling Mark has with others. In The Catcher in the Rye, the author, J. D. Salinger, uses a number of techniques to prevail Holden’s isolation. Through description of setting and characterisation, Salinger is able to illustrate Holden’s isolation to the readers. The director of The Social Network, David Fincher, additionally uses characterisation and description of setting to prevail Mark’s isolation. It is through these techniques among many others that viewers and readers are able to understand both Holden and Mark’s personal dilemmas in life.