Catcher in the Rye-Holdens Relationship with Women

1530 Words Feb 12th, 2011 7 Pages
Holden’s Relationship with Women
The novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger is about a 17-year-old boy named Holden. Holden gets in a very bad condition after his younger brother Allie dies from Leukemia. He gets mentally ill and suffers from serious depression. Holden goes through tough times in which he has a lot of trouble finding friends and keeping good relationships. Relationship and sexuality are big motifs in the novel, which come up very often. Holden is always on the look for a new friend but he always turns away in the last moment. When Holden interacts with women in the novel, he is very different than when he interacts with men. The women characters in the book all are very important because they represent and
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It is very disturbing that he says “sex appeal” instead of “beauty” because it really shows what his thinks of her. He starts flirting with her and says many lies to get her interested. Later on he says, “Then I really started chucking the old crap around… I had her glued to her seat”(50). Once again he is very disrespectful and rude and it is also very inappropriate to think like that to a mother of a classmate. On the other hand, he is very generous to the nuns that he meets on the train to Manhattan. It is very surprising when Holden does so many nice things to them such as pick up their basket, respect their beliefs and talk very gently because before he kept complaining about everything. Holden acts like a real gentleman, which could be because he sees the innocence in them. Holden admires them for trying to help others because later on in the novel the reader finds out that he wants to protect children from danger. During on point he says to them, “To tell you the truth, it was sort of embarrassing, in a way, to be talking about Romeo and Juliet with her. I mean that play gets pretty sexy in some parts, and she was a nun and all, but she asked me, so I discussed it with her for a while”(100). This is the only time that he is uncomfortable talking about sexual things because he respects that they are nuns and does not want to say something impolite. Holden even donates a lot of money when they did not ask for any and after
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