The Catcher In The Rye: Holden Caulfield As An Anti-Hero

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People who learn of protagonists in some fiction novels tend to think of them as a normal person, but some main characters show to be anti-heroic. Holden Caulfield from J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in The Rye and Naomi Nickel from Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness show they are anti-heroes. Not being able to comply with society’s expectations and acting rebellious are what negative traits these two possess, but show a softer side from their compassionate personality and actions. Although both Holden and Naomi possess negative characteristics, which suits the anti-hero, they also exhibit a compassion for others, thus making both Holden Caulfield and Naomi Nickel anti-heroes.

Firstly, Holden and Naomi fail to fulfill society’s
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One of Holden’s rebellious actions involve conflict with Maurice and Sunny. Maurice’s intention is to make Sunny satisfied since she demanded ten dollars instead of what Maurice originally agreed on. “Till noon. Five bucks a throw, fifteen bucks till noon.” (Salinger 91). Holden argues with Maurice and Sunny about the unfair pricing, showing that Holden is a person of his word and rebelling against changes. Naomi on the other hand too shows rebellion. The East Village she lives in, it “…includes a ban on the media, dancing, smoking, temperate climates, movies, drinking, rock n’ roll, having sex for fun, swimming, makeup, jewellery, playing pool, going to cities, or staying up past nine o’ clock.” (Toews 5) meaning that social related activity is prohibited in Naomi’s Mennonite religion. Naomi rebels these restrictions society has made to simulate her life in the city she wants to live in. Examples of Naomi rebelling are listening to Led Zeppelin, wearing makeup at school, making out with her boyfriend Travis and smoking Sweet Caps constantly. As for Holden, he too demonstrates underage alcohol consumption, which he “…ordered a Scotch and soda, and told him not to mix it-…” (Salinger 69) as it is illegal to be underage to drink, both Naomi and Holden rebel against the law and society as well, therefore Holden Caulfield and Naomi Nickel rebel against

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