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Beowulf vs Holden Caufield

  • Date Submitted: 04/04/2012 12:48 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.2 
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Holden Caufield vs. Beowulf
In the epic poem, Beowulf, translated by Burton Raffel, the main hero faces battles with pagan creatures. Dragons, sea-monsters, and creatures of the unknown Beowulf faces with no fear. In the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, the battles faced by Holden were inner battles, and battles of the mind and with the relationships around him. However both were heroes in their own way. Holden and Beowulf both wanted to save their own people whom they cared for, and would dedicate their entire life to it, and that is the meaning of a true hero.
Beowulf is the man that the whole village looks up to, the man with all of the power, courage, and strength. Beowulf was the “strongest man on earth” so therefore his battles that we know of are mostly physical. Beowulf “drew the sword from its scabbard, broke the chain on its hilt, lifted it high over his head and struck with all of the strength he had left” to kill Grendel’s mother during an underwater battle to the death, between good and evil (Raffel, 1563). Beowulf fights many monsters during his time as hero, and all of them represent an allegory. Jealousy, revenge, and greed are all moral battles that are fought in the Anglo-Saxon times of Beowulf. He dedicates himself to keeping his people away from these evils, and stops at no means to get what he wants. Beowulf faces issues of loyalty in his time, for example when “none of his comrades came to him, helped him; they ran for their lives” when Beowulf was fighting what could turn into his very last battle (Raffel, 2596). He expected his followers to have loyalty, and to help in his time of need, but not one of the hypocritical warriors came through for him, except for one.
Holden Caufield, the protagonist of The catcher in the Rye, also faces issues of loyalty on his journey. He sees everybody as “phony” in the world of adulthood. The people in his life that he trusted or once liked either did something to hurt him, or left his...


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