Is Holden a Byronic Hero?

2887 Words Aug 17th, 2013 12 Pages
In The Catcher In The Rye, judging from incidents involving Holden, I can conclude that he is some kind of a Byronic hero who typically exhibits following traits:

No doubt, Holden has a troubled past. One way to understand Holden's uncommon combination of characteristics is to look at the traumatic events in his childhood, most importantly the death of his brother, Allie. How Holden reacts to his brother's death, by smashing all of the windows in the garage that night, shows that this event has had the most impact of any on his life. One thing that is worth noting is that Holden thinks very highly of Allie, We don't doubt that Allie was a great kid, but according to Holden, he's the most intelligent, nicest, sweetest, most endearing kid
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He comes up with creative and extraordinary topics such as Allie’s baseball mitt when he was asked to write a descriptive essay for Stradlater, therefore he is not really the ‘dumb’ one.
Furthermore, in chapter 17 “We were the worst skaters on the whole goddam rink. I mean the worst.” Holden exposes the fact that he is a very unimpressive skater. We won’t doubt that Holden is no professional at skating, but he might not be that bad as he said he is. Again, he might be exaggerating his weakness.

Not only does Holden criticizes himself he is an undeniable cynic.
The most noticeable of Holden's "peculiarities" is how extremely judgmental he is of almost everything and everybody, in other words he is very cynical. A cynic is routinely disappointed when others don’t live up to their constructed image and, as a result, often doubts people’s motives, and genuineness. Holden applies his often cynical and pessimistic reasoning to almost everything. He judges and criticizes people who are boring, people who are money-driven, and, above all, people who are “phony.”
Holden applies the term “phony” to almost everybody, for instance, teachers who “act like” teachers by adopting a different demeanor in class than they do in real life, or people who dress and act very sophisticated.
Throughout the text, Holden uses the word “phony” uncountable times. For example:

“They had this headmaster, Mr Haas, that was the phoniest bastard I
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