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Catcher In The Rye: Holden's Relationships

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Throughout "The Catcher in the Rye", Holden Caufield longs for intimacy with other human beings. One of Holden's main problems is that he sees childhood as the ideal state of being. He thinks that all adults are phonies.

One of the first relationships that is mentioned in the story, is Holden's relationship with D.B., his brother. Throughout his childhood, it is obvious that Holden has idolized his older brother. Now that D.B. is a writer for Hollywood, Holden considers him a phony, and accuses him of prostituting himself by agreeing to work for the film industry.

Holden has a close relationship with his younger sister, Phobe. They are total opposites. She has a positive outlook on life, while Holden hates life and figures he's doomed. Phobe was his "ray of hope", and brought him true joy. To Holden, she is young, and hasn't become phony. He would do anything to protect her and other children away from adulthood, and preserve their childish innocence.

At Pencey, Holden meets Robert Ackley. Ackely has horrible hygiene, and does not hide it. Although this is disgusting, Holden has more respect for him than for his roommate, Stradlater. Holden calls Stradlater a "secret slob". Stradlater is like many adults, because he tries to hide his imperfections. Holden is the complete opposite, because doesn't care what people think of him, just as long as he feels good.

Holden struggled greatly with his relationships with women. He often recollects his old friend, Jane Gallager. He fantasizes what their sex life could have been like, but he is not mature enough to actually have one.

This is shown when Holden meets Sunny, a prostitute at a hotel. He pays her, but sends her back without having sex with her. He feels depressed and sorry for her. The next morning Holden has a date with an old girlfriend, Sally Hayes.

Here, Holden desperately wants to escape the phony,



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