Catcher in the Rye

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Holden Caulfield is afflicted by the hypocrisy of the adult world. He accuses all adults of being pretentious and phony and he wishes that the world was free of that fictitious behavior. He believes that the only people who are free from the phoniness are the children, because they are innocent. The only person Holden truly believes is innocent is his brother Allie, who died at a young age. Therefore, Allie never grew up to become phony. On the other hand, his older brother in Holden’s eyes is “a sell-out” and the ultimate definition of phony. Holden does not want the children to lose that innocence, because that would mean that they would become phony as well. Entering the adult world, and facing the challenges of growing up becomes Holden’s main conflict throughout the novel as he tries to preserve innocent. Even though, Holden despises the phony adults, ironically he behaves in a confident and bold manner around them, while he is uneasy and apprehensive around kids his age.

Holden, categorizes every woman he encounters throughout the novel into two groups: they meet into one of two groups: madonnas, pure and good, and whores, everyone else. He views sex as a dirty act that can only be done with “whores”, like Sunny. He is turned on by women who he doesn’t respect or care for as well as kinky, sexual behavior.The fact that he is only aroused by these kinds of behavior disturbs him, yet he can’t help it. Holden’s behavior can be regarded as the Madonna-Whore Complex. A person who has the complex views women as either good or bad, and is convinced that the in-between does not exist. For example, it is clear that Holden cares for Jane Gallagher a great deal as a person, as well as having intense romantic feelings for her. He recalls holding hands, sitting close to each other, and Jane, putting her hand on the back of his neck. However, Holden never shares his feelings with Jane, and never tries doing anything sexual with her besides their innocent dally. From...
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