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The Art of Literary Thieving: The Catcher in the Rye, Moby-Dick, and Hamlet By Willi ...

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The Art of Literary Thieving:

Introduction

Across the capricious happenings of our history on earth, we have been incessantly perplexed by a question that is central to our understanding of the nature and workings of our existence. Who or what is ultimately responsible for causing the events that take place throughout our world? Down through the ages, the predominant belief was that God (Fate) has the ultimate control over everything that occurs. But others have come forth to claim that we must accept responsibility for ourselves, for we are capable, with our own free will, of directing the outcomes of events. Others still, looking around them at the seemingly aimless and erratic ways of reality, have concluded that the final imprint on all that happens within our world is placed there by chance.

It is a question that also challenged three authors, William Shakespeare, Herman Melville, and J. D. Salinger, leading them to create, in each case, what generally has come to be recognized as their most accomplished work. In the final, startling scene of Hamlet, through the meaning-laden interactions of his