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Bruce Blessitt English 3 Billard 12/ 14/11 In the book The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, Holden is unable to have any type of sexual intercourse or sexual contact with females because he is afraid of loosing his innocence. One can come to this conclusion using all of the facts and details about Holden’s strong belief in staying pure and innocent from the book. Details in the book show signs that Holden’s belief of protecting innocence dwindles his attempts at any type of sexual intercourse with girls/women.
Specifically Sunny, the prostitute and Jane Gallagher, Holden’s childhood romance. When Holden was at Jane Gallagher’s house, Holden noticed that she felt insecure and uncomfortable around Mr. Cudahy. When he asked if there were any cigarettes in the house she did not respond. Holden immediately became protective of her and suspicious of Mr. Cudahy. When Jane started to cry, he began to comfort her. Then when Holden began kissing her, the only thing Holden could do to comfort her was hold her hand and kiss because he is afraid of losing both their innocence.
Salinger 79) “I asked her, on the way, if Mr. Cudahy- that was the booze hounds name-had ever tried to get wise with her. ” This scene demonstrates an immense amount of Holden’s belief in innocence because he fears Jane has succumbed to Mr. Cudahy. Another example, (Salinger 43) “What’d you do? ” “Give her the time of day in Ed Banky’s car. Holden is afraid that Jane has forfeited her innocence to Stradlater and this makes Holden act out in irrational behavior.
When Holden is with Sunny, the prostitute , Holden displays proof of not being able to have sexual intercourse because he is afraid of loosing his innocence. When Sunny pulls her dress over her head, Holden acts different then the normal male. (Salinger 95) “I felt much more depressed than sexy” (Salinger 95) “Don’t you feel like talking for a while? ”(Salinger 95) Holden is trying to avoid having sexual intercourse with Sunny by having a conversation instead. Therefore he is protecting her innocence and his own belief of persevering innocence at the same time.
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