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How does Salinger present Holden's relationship with women?

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Introduction

How does Salinger present Holden's relationship with women? In the book, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden has many different relationships with women and acts in different ways compared to who the women are and how he is feeling at the time. Some of the examples of women that he encounters are Jane Gallagher, Sally Hayes, the mother a boy who goes to his old school, Sunny (a prostitute) and the two nuns. All these women present a different aspect in the ways in which Holden holds relationships with women. Firstly the presence of Jane Gallagher is used to show his relationship with women. The fact that Holden seems reluctant to actually go through with the action of contacting Jane could show that Jane holds Holden's idea of innocence and keeps it present to him. During a conversation with Stradlater Holden says '"I oughta go down and at lest say hello to her," I said "Why don'tcha?" "I will, in a minute"' the pause in the last part of speech shows that Salinger is trying to portray Holden's unwillingness and uncertainty in the action of contacting Jane. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that Holden finds the concept of women somewhat daunting, as this is a part of the adult world, which he believes to be 'phoney'. Salinger also portrays a part of Holden that is disrespectful towards women and thinks of them only for sexual reasons. This is shown with the characters of Sally Hayes and Sunny. In the case of Sally Hayes Holden talks about her in a way that is completely different to the tone that is used when talking about Jane. In Chapter 15 Holden says 'is we hadn't necked so much', this shows that all Holden seemed to do during his times with sally was to 'neck' each other. This displays a huge amount of disregard and lack of feelings for Sally showing that Holden tries to hold sexual relationships with females. In the case of Sunny Holden actually has a chance to carry out his want for sex however he can't bring himself to he makes an excuse '" I don't feel like myself tonight. ...read more.

Conclusion

I mean the play gets pretty sexy in some parts', this shows that his relationships with women is based hugely on his perceptions of what the different classes of women should act like. His stance on the nun's behaviour could be linked directly to media influence on his life. This shows that Holden's relationship with women is widely dependent upon how he perceives they are meant to act. In conclusion, Salinger shows Holden's relationships with women through the use of the accounts of the different encounters and thoughts of this character. The encounter with Jane shows how he finds the adult world of women daunting and is unable to contact Jane, as he does not want to taint his memories of her. When he meats Sally it shows that Holden is very disrespectful towards women and believes that they are only there to be 'necked'. His experience with the nuns suggests that he is widely influenced by the media and that is how he sees women. This could also determine the way that he treats them. Emily Dart 11C ...read more.

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