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Dying To Be A Martyr Essay

1664 words - 7 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 his money and is willing to sacrifice a beating for a pocket change. When Holden encounters the nuns he states: ““They let me give them ten bucks as a contribution. They kept asking me if I could afford it and all. I told them I had quite a bit of money with me, but they didn’t seem to believe me” (ch.pg). This act of Holden shows a dramatic change in Holden’s thoughts and actions. Holden clearly views the nuns as honorable and pious people for he willingly gives them a donation equal to the amount he previously fought to keep. Nuns, by nature take a vow of chastity and are devoted to religion. Holden admires thise quality and there sacrifice, to having a normal life is something he can appreciate. When discussing literatrure with the Nuns, Holden tells of his love of Shakespre’s Romeo and Juliet stating“I mean I felt sorrier when old Mercutio got killed than when Romeo and Juliet were killed”. (15.11). In the play Romeo & Juliet, Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel to the death for Juliet’s hand. Knowing Romeo would lose, Mrcuito takes his palce saving Romeo form an inevitable death. Mercuito knew the strong love between Romeo and Juleit and died a martyr of their love. By stating this Holden reveals he appreaictes a martyr more than the beloved characters. Holden values a sacrice and devotion to your conviction over popular opinon. Holden admires Mercuitio and views him as honorable. Holden also views Allie as honorable (quote)…Holden also shows a deep respect and posses a...

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