In The Catcher in the Rye, is the main character Holden Caufield an antihero?

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dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Literary terms dictionaries define an antihero as "a protagonist who is a non-hero or the anti-thesis of a traditional hero."  Generally speaking, a hero protagonist would be intelligent, strong, courageous, and independent.  It is quite clear that Holden does not encompass these qualities; he is more of a lazy, dependent, unlucky character who would never be considered a hero or role model in any sense of the term.  Since Holden does have so many internal and external forces that are countering his character, it does seem, however, that he is the novel's protagonist.  Linking all of these elements together, it does seem that Holden is an antihero.

atyourservice | Student

Holden is an anti hero because most of the time when you imagine the main character of a book you imagine a strong character, who is friendly and lovable. Yet Holden is neither of those. He is weak, in the book he gets beaten several times in several different occasions. He is irrational, there are several time when he was asked to stop an argument and wouldnt. He wasn't the most lovable person out there. Holden barely had enough friends and those he did have he saw them as people who were just part of his life, and people who didnt care for him.

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The Catcher in the Rye

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