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Is Holden Caufield a Sufficiently Interesting Character to be the Hero of the Novel? Essay Sample

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Is Holden Caufield a Sufficiently Interesting Character to be the Hero of the Novel? Essay Sample

In “Catcher in the Rye”, Holden Caufield is in some respect portrayed as a spoilt rich kid because he is talking about lots of different schools that he has been to. But he also seems down to earth because he is aware of his surroundings and he gives away his money freely to charities “They let me give them 10 bucks as a contribution.” However he does seem to care a bit about his money because when he was asked by Maurice is he wanted a girl for a throw and he said that it would cost 5 bucks, Holden didn’t mind too much. But when later on that evening when Maurice and Sunny (the girl) came back wanting 5 more dollars Holden then got in a fight with Maurice, “Leave me alone. If you’d said 10, it’d be different. But you distinctly-“

I think that the contradictions in his behaviour and attitudes are the signs of him making a genuine struggle to make sense of his world and to sort out what’s worthwhile in life. An example of this happening is when he meets up with Sally and she suggests “Let’s go ice-skating at Radio City” and he couldn’t think why she came up with lots of diverse ideas “that’s the kind of ideas she always had.” However at the end of that chapter he thinks back to earlier on when he asked her if she would go with him to Massachusetts or Vermont, but then he thinks that he’s a madman because he really meant it, “the terrible part, though, is that I meant it when I asked her.

Holden Caufield is hard to believe at times but he mostly seems believable because he has what appears to be an ordinary teenage life. But what makes him almost unbelievable at time s are his digressions that give the impression that he is always thinking about life in general, “Take cars…most people , they’re crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them… I’d rather have a goddam horse.” But he is talking to Sally at the time and she doesn’t really know what he is going on about “You jump from one-” But Holden continues in that train of thought for quite a while and it ends up in an argument. This occasionally happens in normal people’s lives, but it looks as if it is occurring most of the time in his life. The whole book is one large digression over 3-4 days but it has little ones happening in it all of the time, because Holden is sometimes remembering things that have only a slight relevance to what the line of thought was at that time.

The assumed role of Holden Caufield is still relevant in today’s society but his persona is not. This is because people still have troubles like his, but they are different kinds of troubles, so I would say that his thoughts are out of date for our times.

All of these points add up to tell us that he is quite an interesting character, but he would not be considered as a typical hero because he hasn’t got any great physical attributes or strengths, but he does have a large struggle in trying to understand complicated things that are in his world.

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