Is Holden A Hero?
In Catcher in the Rye, Holden is a complex and misunderstood character. Although he has bad qualities, Holden is portrayed as a hero. Though society has shaped him in a negative way, he still has hero like qualities and is overall a hero. He is respectful to women, capable of regret/remorse, and has experienced traumatic events.
Holden is very respectful to women. As seen on page 83, “The trouble with me is, I stop. Most guys don’t. I can’t help it…the trouble is, I get to feeling sorry for them.” This shows that Holden controls his actions around women and stops when they want him to stop. A hero is someone who can respect others and can be called a gentleman. Holden is very kind also to his sister Phoebe on page 181, “Somebody’d written ‘F*** you’ on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they’d wonder the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them-all cockeyed, naturally-what it meant and how they’d all think about it and maybe even worry.” Here it shows how caring and protective he is over her, which shows that he is respectful of her.
A hero is capable of regret or remorse, like Holden. This is shown on page 86, “It made me feel sort of sad when I hung it up. I thought of her going in a store and buying it, and nobody in the store knowing she was a prostitute and all.” Here Holden feels depressed because of the prostitute’s job and nobody knowing she was a prostitute. He feels regret in ordering her and this shows that he is in fact emotional and capable to feeling remorse.
Finally, Holden has had many traumatic events happen to him, which has made him stronger and a bit scarred. His younger brother, who he admired a lot, die and still brings him up quite a lot in the story. On Page 33, “He’s dead now. He got leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18th, 1946.” He also witnessed a boy at his school commit suicide by jumping out...
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