Virtue in Catcher in the Rye
In JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is a young boy aimlessly taking a trip New York City after being expelled from a classy boarding college. Holden presents a lot of nervousness when it concerns sex-related connections, especially those of Jane and Sunny. In addition, Holden has a tendency to misjudge the maturation of his fellow personalities. The mix of this mistaken belief, the tension in between sexual nervousness, and an adult life with adult relationships, results in confusion for him. In Holden’s life, there have actually just been a couple of individuals he’s cherished more than his childhood years neighbor, Jane Gallagher.
They were close childhood years good friends, as well as when his roomie Stradlater brings her up years later in secondary school, all he can talk about is the innocent enjoyable they made use of to have: playing checkers, seeing her dancing ballet in the summer season heat, and how her Doberman always entered into his backyard. Nonetheless, he also reminisces on how her “boozehound” stepfather would certainly always “run around the goddam home naked” (42 ). He thinks that her stepfather had bugged Jane, who “had [a] terrific figure, as well as [he] would not’ve put it past that bastard” (103 ).
This really bothers Holden, as does when Stradlater insinuates that he made sexual advances onto Jane on their day. To Holden, sexual experiences imply a contamination of innocence, and he dislikes that Stradlater or Jane’s stepfather may have corrupted Jane. Many times, Holden guarantees himself that he “outa decrease and say hello to her” (40 ), or that he needs to “offer old Jane a buzz” (195 ), yet he never ever does. Subconsciously, he fears that Jane will certainly have matured, as well as calling her or seeing her will surely change the young, innocent, checkers-playing version of Jane that he has in his mind.
This is perplexing for Holden because Jane has grown up, yet he still considers her as a little lady, not the expanded woman that she is. Holden “recognized that she would not let [Stradlater] reach first base with her, but it drove [him] insane anyhow” (104 ). This shows Holden’s prospective mistaken belief of Jane’s virtue. It is not likely for a post-teenage girl to be as sheltered and have as much innocence as she did when she was a little lady. Nevertheless, this is something Holden can not comprehend.
This dilemma is a straight result of Holden’s unreasonable regard for innocence, affected by sexual conflicts in Holden’s past. When Holden accepts have actually a woman of the street come to his area in the resort, he is soon greeted by Sunny at his door. Holden is right away not impressed with Sunny’s maturation; just how she was “wiggling this set foot backwards and forwards”, she “never ever said thank you”, and she “had this tiny little wheeny-whiny voice” (123 ). He also notices that she appears extremely young, and claimed points that were really childish.
This ends up making him feel “more clinically depressed than sexy” (123 ), as well as he decides not to have sex with her nevertheless. The representation of this young girl earning money as a woman of the street seems to distress Holden, and also he inevitably wraps up that having sex with her would spoil her virtue. This is where Holden is once again misguided. Just as it is unlikely for Jane to maintain the very same degree of innocence via the years, it is unlikely that Sunny, being a woman of the street, will have not had sex with lots of people in the past, as a result maintaining her innocence.
Yet all Holden can see in Sunny is the juvenile as well as premature, which causes a conflicted sight of the globe. The significance of virtue to Holden is something that results in nervousness towards others’ sex-related identification and also task. His point of view of Jane and also Sunny’s virtue is likewise illinformed to the point where he sees innocence in them when there is none. Overall, the significance of innocence to Holden causes contention that is much less than innocent.