Why does Holden start thinking about what a coward he is? Do you think he is a coward? What would you do if you found out who had stolen your gloves?
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In Chapter 13, Holden emerges as a scared adolescent in this chapter, as he admits to himself his own cowardice. He believes that he is incapable of standing up to another Pencey student and fighting him in defense of his property, a claim that stands contradictory to his earlier fight with Stradlater. However, in that instance he fought Stradlater out of sheer impulse. Indeed, if Holden ever fights back, it's never out of a belief that he will vindicate himself, but rather out of a seeming obsession with self-destruction. He wants to be beaten up. He wants to suffer pain. Perhaps it's the only thing that makes him feel alive. The rest of your question calls for your opinion.