Dying the Death of a Martyr Essay

1380 Words 6 Pages
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Let us all be brave enough to die the death of a martyr, but let no one lust for martyrdom. Gandhi means that the true mark of a honorable person is one who is willing to sacrifice their life, but doesn’t have a strong urge to do so. Wanting to die is cowardly, but staying with your conviction till death is noble. In J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye Holden views Allie and other devoted people as honorable; furthermore, martyrdom appears to Holden as a way of avoiding his own responsibilities and assuaging over Allie’s death and children losing their innocence. Through Holden’s actions and thoughts it is revealed that Holden reveres Allie and other devoted people, constantly carries around the burden of children losing their innocence, and imagines himself as a martyr.
Throughout the story, Holden views his deceased brother Allie as well as other devoted people as honorable, even going as far to idolize some. Through Salinger’s prose and Holden’s social interactions it is revealed Holden views martyrs and people fully convicted to a cause as ethical. While Holden is at the train station with the Nuns, his actions towards them show a deep reverence and respect. In the previous chapter (check) Holden got into an allteraction with Maurice regarding Sunny’s payment. Maurice, had initaly told Holden her fee was $5 but Sunny demanded $10. Holden becomes aggrevated and refuses to pay even as Maurice becomes belligerent and violent. Holden clearly values…