Qualities of Holden Caufield from “Catcher In The Rye”

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Everybody at one point in life has someone that he looks up to. Whether theywant to “Be like Mike” or want to be like their favorite actor, every childneeds someone to be a role model. Unfortunately, many of todays idols arepeople who are admired simply because they can run faster, jump higher, or shootstraighter than normal people. Most people will never be able to be asphysically adept as these professional athletes. However, an excellent rolemodel is readily available for all people who are literate. Holden Caufield fromThe Catcher in the Rye demonstrates many qualities that people should strivefor. 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 theywould not want to know the truth. When this happens, people often feel irate forknowing what another really thinks of them. Holdens transparency can be seenwhen he talks with Stradlater and accuses him of sleeping with a girl thatHolden 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 amisconception on what that person really thinks. If more people indicated theirtrue feelings, fewer people would have psychological disorders from pent upemotions. Second, Holden Caufield is someone who is brutally honest. It was oncesaid “the truth shall set you free”. If this is true, then Holden is one ofthe 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. Thiscan be seen by the way he talks about “phonies”. A phony is someone who is acomplete fake and insincere. Holden has the lowest regard for these people, eventhough he has admitted to being one at different points. That takes a lot ofcourage to be that honest. When he knows that he has been wrong, he admits it.

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This is another reason why people should try to take on qualities of HoldenCaufield. Finally, Holden Caufield has great qualities, such as people can learnfrom his actions. When Holden makes a mistake, he accepts it and moves on. Anexample of this is when he hires the prostitute, and then does not feel likeusing her. Instead of trying to get out of his arrangement with her, he justtalks to her, and then pays. This indicates that even though he screwed up, andknew it, he will pay what he owes. The book also shows the ramifications foreach action that Holden does. One could infer that even when Holden knows hescrews up, he still tries to do the right thing. Therefore, Holden is theperfect role model because the reader can learn from Holdens mistakes andavoid making them himself. Holden Caufield truly should be one of Americasheroes. Forget the super athletes in professional sports. Their physicalabilities are not achievable for most people. Instead, have a role model thatmost people can be like. To be a happy person, all that is needed is to indicateemotions, to be honest, and to learn from mistakes. If people could be more likethat, then the world would be a happier and more successful place for everybody.

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Qualities of Holden Caufield from “Catcher In The Rye”. (2019, Mar 02). Retrieved from


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