The Hero's Journey of Holden Caulfield Essay

The Hero's Journey of Holden Caulfield Essay

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“If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's.” (Joseph Campbell). Every character walks through an astringent journey throughout their lifetimes. This journey can be viewed as the Hero’s Journey. Undertaking the journey of the hero can elevate the character achievement. The protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye--Holden Caulfield with no exception undergoes the journey. Holden’s journey ventures beyond what he is able to endure, forcing him into the unknown territory. Holden received the quest call to adventure, and responded to the call for the journey when he left Pencey prep school. Holden accepted the call, faced his challenges struggling through hardships and oppression, with helps from the guidance, he then eventually returned to his comfortable world with a tremendous intellect and physical transformation giving a closure to his journey.
Holden’s endless journey begins when he received the call when he is expelled from Pencey Prep because of his low grades. Holden starts out as a college student that is damaged deep down his heart. The world before his journey was full of phonies as he commented, “Also at the threshold, the initiate will encounter a helper” (Ariane Publications 9). The helper usually leads the main character into the essential path before any accomplishments. In this condition, Holden’s former History teacher Mr. Spencer takes the role. He asks Holden,” Do you feel absolutely no concern for your future, boy?” (Salinger 20). He warns Holden about the difficulties that are waiting for him ahead but also pushed Holden forward to the journey. Even though Holden did refuse the journey by lingering at school after he got the expel letter. Nevertheless, the talk with Mr. Spencer may have aff...

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... contentment in being with Phoebe. The transformation can be identified at the point where Phoebe asked, “Aren’t you going to ride, too?” (Salinger 273). This exhibits that she is no longer angry with Holden, and this is when the transformation is complete. Holden replied, “No, I’ll just watch ya, I think I’ll just watch” (Salinger 274). By refusing, Holden took the role of protecting Phoebe, returning home, and starting a new school life.
To summarize, the Hero’s Journey is a challenging process, yet Holden answered to his call of journey, undertook challenges under rigorous environments, and finally returned with satisfactory with aides from the helpers.
Work Cited Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951.

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