The anti-hero is an essential part of literature. Anti-heroes are complex characters that have serious negative and positive personality traits that directly affect their lives. They allow one to relate to a character that may be more human than a “simple” protagonist or antagonist. Both Holden Caulfield from J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in The Rye, and Willy Loman from Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman are similar, and should both be considered as anti-heroes because of their endless similarities. Holden and Willy are both depressed, both of their families view them differently because of the actions their conditions cause them to do and do not have many people supporting them in their lives. Willy and Holden both experience depression, …show more content…
I was sort of crying. I don’t know why. I put my red hunting hat on, and turned the peak around to the back, the way I liked it, and then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice, ‘sleep tight ya morons!’ I’ll bet I woke up every bastard on the whole floor. Then I got the hell out.” (Salinger 59). When Holden says that, it is known that he resents Pencey and thinks it is full of phonies, yet he cries when he leaves. This shows that Holden is not only having deeper emotions than expected from someone his age, he also feels his emotions heavily and without control over them. He also mentions his red hunting hat, which has been a comfort for him since childhood. Holden putting it on and adjusting it to how he feels comfortable with it is related to a typical behaviour of people with depression. People suffering from depression look for control in uncontrollable situations, and in this situation, Holden cannot control that he is leaving, so he tries to find comfort in the control of his appearance with his hunting hat. In addition, the behaviours that got him to the point of …show more content…
Biff complains about Willy as a father, saying, “He’s got no character - Charley wouldn’t do this. Not in his own house - spewing out that vomit from his mind.” (Miller 56). Biff does not understand how his father has gotten to such a state of existence. Biff is also clearly frustrated, as even though he loves his father, he resents him for his emotional absence from Biff’s life, and compares him to other people that seem more stable on the outside, like Charley. Holden experiences similar alienation from much of his family. In multiple passages, it is noted that while Holden’s mother is not mentioned, his father is consistently mentioned as having negative feelings toward Holden. When he goes home to see Phoebe because he misses her, he tells her that he is not in Pencey anymore and he mentions her response, saying “Old Phoebe didn’t say anything for a long time. Then when she said something, all she said was, ‘Daddy’s going to kill you’” (Salinger 191). Even at the beginning of the book, Holden mentions his father, saying “They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father.” (Salinger 3) in reference to giving out personal details about them. There is constant reference throughout the text as to Holden feeling like he is a disappointment to his father, which may be caused by Holden’s father seeing him differently because of Holden’s
Have you ever wondered why the protagonist in a work of literature acts as he/she does? Have you ever wondered what the prime influence in his/her actions, values, and attitudes was? Well, in many cases, namely Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist endures significant influence, both negative and positive, from past events that are often traumatic and serve as guides for the character in present instances. This trend can be found in many other works of literature such as Number the Stars by Lois Lowry in which the abuse of the protagonist’s Jewish neighbor leads to her taking a much more sensitive approach in her present life. Holden Caulfield repeatedly displays this pattern in Catcher when he commits actions, and puts forth his values and attitudes based off of a variety of prior events in his life including the death of his younger brother Allie, the departure of his older brother D.B., and
Biff wants to retake the class in the summer but when he catches his father having an affair his perception of his father, his biggest role model, is shattered causing him to give up on the things he used to want to do. Willy represses this memory entirely and tries to blame others for Biffs behavior instead of himself. Willy also fools himself into thinking he is well liked and successful. In small moments of clarity Willy admits that people have made fun of his physique and no one talks to him anymore when he goes
Throughout the book, Holden is struggling to get by. The death of his brother Allie has left him in a tough spot. Holden doesn’t exactly know how to deal with this. The different stages of grief are represented through Holden. Holden shows denial and anger when he flashbacks to one of his memories after his brother’s death.
To expand upon, Holdens overarching fear of letting other people know the real him is rooted to his ideal that he is not desirable. Significantly, Holden subconsciously is aware of his sadness since he discusses the tumor in his brain, which the reader can connect to his toxic, bitter thoughts that filter through his mind daily. Therefore, every time Holden starts to uncontrollably lie to others, he is also deceiving himself as a way to try to convince himself that he is not as sad as his mind makes him believe. Above all, one of Holden’s origins of his depressive case is by reason of his compulsive
Aside from being a liar, Holden is depressed. After Allie, his younger brother passed away, Holden hasn’t been too healthy himself. There is this baseball glove that was Allies, and it is a comfort to him. Along with that, another thing that Holden finds comfort in is a hat. This hate in particular is a red hunting hat.
Teenagers often attempt to find happiness through the acceptance of others, as they believe it will make their life whole. In the novel The Catcher In The Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist and narrator of the novel is a sixteen year old junior who is expelled from his school Pencey Prep for failing 4 out of 5 classes. Holden Caulfield seeks acceptance from the people surrounding him, which affects him both positively and negatively. In the novel The Catcher In The Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, seeks acceptance from those around him when he goes home to look for Phoebe, when he goes to his old teacher expecting pity, and when he visits the nuns because he heard what good people they are. The first example of Holden yearning acceptance from the people surrounding him is when he goes home to look for Phoebe, his sister, after his expulsion.
“Innocence is always unsuspicious”- Joseph Joubert The loss of innocence isn’t some big celebration when you hit a certain age, or have a certain experience, it is something that comes when you aren’t looking. J.D. Salinger was a man who kept to himself, didn’t offer many interviews, and wanted to make a difference. In this novel, he has woven the story of Holden Caulfield a sixteen year old, who has an adventure in New York City before going home and taking responsibility for his actions that fall. Throughout his time in the city, he matures and learns to look at the big picture.
In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a peculiar character portrayed as a skeptic living in “a world of phonies” in circa 1950. These personality traits can be seen through his doubts of society as well as his way of thinking and acting toward others. He also demonstrates a lack of responsibility adding to his role as a slacker. Holden flunks out of school repeatedly and has no desire to confront his parents. He mopes around the city for days, delaying the inevitable punishments he’s sure to get.
The book “The catcher in the rye “ by J.D Salinger shows a teenagers journey through horrible days of misfortune. The main character, Holden, have interesting ways of dealing with his problems. It is anything from loneliness to his way of alienating for self protection. J.D Sallinger has chosen a special way of illustrating Holden’s life in forms of an iceberg, the inside of him is much larger than you think. Holden knows about how people feel about him but does not want to realise it and therefore uses a special technique to protect himself.
To start, the death of Holden’s younger brother, Allie, has impacted Holden’s life to a certain extent. He passed away when he was eleven years old and when Holden was thirteen years old from Leukemia. Holden has not been the same ever since the death and can be shown by, “I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don’t blame them. I really don’t.
The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’.
Alienation In The Catcher In The Rye In J.D Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, loneliness is the main topic of the book. The main character Holden Caulfield is an outsider from the beginning, which makes it easier for him to feel lonely. In the book he talks about the things leading up to him getting expelled from Pencey Prep, a private school, and the events that occur after. Holden Caulfield desperately wants human companionship but since he isn’t mature enough and he dislikes human interaction, he ends up being alone.
In Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger uses symbolism to emphasize the significance of Holden’s red hunting hat. Holden wears the red hunting hat to distinguish himself from everyone around. Holden bought the red hunting hat for one dollar in New York the same morning he lost the fencing equipment. The red hunting hat offers Holden protection from the outside world and it also of comforts him in real world situations. Obviously needing protection from the fencing team who ostracized him all the way back to Pencey.
While many argue that Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye does not deviate from the traditional anti-hero attributes and, therefore, does not display any prominent change, an argument can be made to the contrary. Holden Caulfield goes through some noticeable character development and is in a better place emotionally at the end of the book because he speaks with Phoebe. His meeting with Phoebe and Phoebe’s message to him shows him a youth’s perspective on his world, rather than the superficial sincerity of his elderly professor and his favorite teacher that makes advances on him. Additionally, him being able to successfully communicate with a member of his own family puts him in a better place. His time with her lets him see his own self-image of a “catcher in the rye.”