Holden's Obsession With Sex Depicted In Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye

583 words - 2 pages

Holden Caulfield is the main character in the book, The Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger. Holden also has a huge obsession with sex, even though he remains a virgin. Throughout the book, Holden constantly refers to people as “phonies.”

There are many times in the book that show how obsessed Holden is with sex. Holden Caulfield feels that sex should happen between two people who care a lot for each other and respect one another. He doesn’t think that sex should ever be a casual thing. He sees sex as degrading, no matter what. Plus, Holden believes that no matter how much he likes a girl, if he has sex with her then he’ll see her as an object and he doesn’t like that.

At one point, Holden gets mad when he finds out that Stradlater had sex with his old crush, Jane. His real emotions behind his anger was that a girl he knew was having sex with a random person that she didn’t really know so well. Holden also obsesses on the idea of him being aroused by girls that he doesn’t care for like Sally Hayes, whom he calls “stupid,” even while he’s agreeing to go out with her. (Sparknotes.com, Character Analysis)

In Holden’s mind, everyone is a “phony.” He believes that everyone is a wannabe, appearance-obsessed, stuck up, or secretive. He does not want to do anything “adult” like those types of “bastards,” except that he really does. (Shmoop.com)

The feeling behind Holden calling everyone phony is that he thinks that if he calls people that, he will feel better if/when they reject him. Whatever anyone does/did to him, especially when it is any bit hurtful, it would not matter because the person behind all of the negativity was a “phony.” It’s not that Holden Caulfield feels that everyone is terrible, it’s just his way...

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