New Found Lands

Essay by canchimooruHigh School, 10th gradeA, February 2008

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The term ‘New Found Lands’ carries several meanings. It could imply change, or discovery of oneself. It could also relate to the topic of new experiences and ideas, or changing one’s identity and image. In general, however, it can be said that when one is asked about ‘New Found Lands’, one usually thinks of discovery, and of the unknown. The topic of New Found Lands is discussed in Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls), by Nakashima, and in the novel The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. Both texts discuss certain key issues that provide similar or contrasting views on the topic of New Found Lands.

As said before, discovery if often associated with NFLs. With discovery, however, friendship plays a key role, as it can provide moral support. This can be seen when attempting to understand the motivation and behaviour of the key characters in the texts.

Upon viewing Kamikaze Girls, the audience is confronted with the nihilistic character of Momoko.

We are shown her negative viewpoint on friendship, “We are born alone, we live alone and we die alone”. The audience is shown several visual references to this, particularly through Momoko’s visual isolation from Nakashima’s mis en scene. In this scene, the camera pans across the room, showing several school children together first and focusing on Momoko last, who is sitting by herself. A subtle glow is applied to the image, and this combined with the expression shown on Momoko’s face, shows that she is happy with being alone.

Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye is equally as nihilistic as Momoko when it comes to friendship. Throughout the novel, he views other as being phony, save for a select few who are close to him. “One of the reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was...