Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

English Language and Literature

First Advisor

Joseph Csicsila

Second Advisor

Mary K. Ramsey


The purpose of this research is to analyze the concept of maturity between postcolonialism and modem literature through a close reading of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. Both Huck and Finn reside in a world where growing older means accepting the often fake societies and communities that regulate societal norms. Both characters face mature themes, such as death/mortality/ isolation, the hypocrisy of"civilized" society, and depression. In evaluating these texts, it is reasonable to believe that Holden and Huck will forever be displaced in society because of their repression of superficiality, which in turn stagnates their maturity (as defined by society) that can never progress as it would represent acceptance of the hypocritical societal values imposed upon them.