The Catcher In The Rye Character Analysis

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It is often said that the people one surrounds themselves with can reflect things about themselves, such as their beliefs and ideals. One’s friends and acquaintances can reveal subconscious attractions to people that fulfill their ideals or agree with the things they say, but these relationships can also help one discover their personal philosophies by reinforcing opposing views. Indeed, in J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the way Holden reacts to and interacts with secondary characters reveal his established philosophies and the values he holds most dear to him.
Although Holden never directly interacts with Jane Gallagher during the course of the novel, the way he thinks and talks about her, as well as the way he remembers
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Stradlater doesn’t know or care. Holden becomes so overwhelmed by the thought of him “giving Jane time,” he gets into a physical altercation with his roommate. After this incident, Holden begins to idealize Jane’s image increasingly, leading to him imagining a fantastic scene after he gets robbed by a pimp, Maurice. “Then I’d crawl back to my room and call up Jane and have her come over and bandage up my guts. I pictured her holding a cigarette for me to smoke while I was bleeding and all” (Salinger 104). This is why Holden can’t talk to Jane; he has created another disjointed image of her in his mind that he uses to rescue himself. Jane saves him; but it’s not really Jane, more likely than not, the Jane in Holden’s head hasn’t existed for years. His image of her becoming more and more warped, and his cowardice in refusing to talk to her, show Holden’s inability to reconcile the past, his childhood, with the present: the fact that he and others around him are growing up. [ADD SOMETHING HERE?]
In a complete contrast to Jane appears Sally Hayes, an attractive but obnoxious girl that Holden goes out with quite a lot. From Holden’s perspective, Sally Hayes is everything he despises in the world; phony, conceited, and stupid. But the truth is that Sally is probably just a typical, beautiful, seventeen
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