Essay, Research Paper: Catcher In The Rye

Literature: Catcher in The Rye

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Everybody at one point in life has someone that he looks up to. Whether they
want to “Be like Mike” or want to be like their favorite actor, every child
needs someone to be a role model. Unfortunately, many of today’s idols are
people who are admired simply because they can run faster, jump higher, or shoot
straighter than normal people. Most people will never be able to be as
physically adept as these professional athletes. However, an excellent role
model is readily available for all people who are literate. Holden Caufield from
The Catcher in the Rye demonstrates many qualities that people should strive
for. First, Holden is someone who lets people know what he is really thinking.
He does not hide what he is thinking about people even if he knows that they
would not want to know the truth. When this happens, people often feel irate for
knowing what another really thinks of them. Holden’s transparency can be seen
when he talks with Stradlater and accuses him of sleeping with a girl that
Holden has feelings for. Although in the book, Stradlater got angry at Holden,
he should be happy. It is always better to know where one stands, than to have a
misconception on what that person really thinks. If more people indicated their
true feelings, fewer people would have psychological disorders from pent up
emotions. Second, Holden Caufield is someone who is brutally honest. It was once
said “the truth shall set you free”. If this is true, then Holden is one of
the freest people ever. Holden is a guy who will speak his mind no matter what,
even if it is something the person he was talking to did not want to hear. This
can be seen by the way he talks about “phonies”. A phony is someone who is a
complete fake and insincere. Holden has the lowest regard for these people, even
though he has admitted to being one at different points. That takes a lot of
courage to be that honest. When he knows that he has been wrong, he admits it.
This is another reason why people should try to take on qualities of Holden
Caufield. Finally, Holden Caufield has great qualities, such as people can learn
from his actions. When Holden makes a mistake, he accepts it and moves on. An
example of this is when he hires the prostitute, and then does not feel like
using her. Instead of trying to get out of his arrangement with her, he just
talks to her, and then pays. This indicates that even though he screwed up, and
knew it, he will pay what he owes. The book also shows the ramifications for
each action that Holden does. One could infer that even when Holden knows he
screws up, he still tries to do the right thing. Therefore, Holden is the
perfect role model because the reader can learn from Holden’s mistakes and
avoid making them himself. Holden Caufield truly should be one of America’s
heroes. Forget the super athletes in professional sports. Their physical
abilities are not achievable for most people. Instead, have a role model that
most people can be like. To be a happy person, all that is needed is to indicate
emotions, to be honest, and to learn from mistakes. If people could be more like
that, then the world would be a happier and more successful place for everybody.

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