He is not even sure how he feels about them much of the time – in other rods, he is ambivalent towards them. Introduction Holder Coalfield is honestly one of the most interesting and complex characters that I have ever come across in a novel. I had never read “The Catcher in the Rye” before but was so surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how relevant this novel still is today. Holder’s attitude towards women is so contradictory and confusing. At times he comes across as a typical teenage boy, with hormones running riot and embarrassing moments.
Yet, there are times when he seems so wise beyond his years and shows a tenderness and limitability that he keeps hidden. Then again, Holder sees girls as beneath him intellectually and often mocks them without their knowledge. He is very sarcastic and seems to get away with it around the girls that he wants to hang out with, is this because he likes to feel intellectually superior? There are so many quotes in the book that show his attitude towards women but I have selected a few that I think highlight his character so well. If you don’t really like a girl, you shouldn’t horse around with her at all and if you do like a girl, hen you’re supposed to like her face, and if you do like her face, you ought to be careful about doing crumby stuff to it, like squirting water all over it. ” -? Respect, tenderness. “Sex is something I just don’t understand, I swear to God, I don’t’ – typical teenager “You don’t always have to get too sexy to get to know a girl. ” – Wisdom “The trouble is, I get to feeling sorry for them.
I mean most girls are so dumb and all. – Contradictory. I will introduce four girls from the novel that I found the most interesting: Jane Gallagher Holder used to live next door to Jane and really seemed to like her as a girl and as a person. She was his first girlfriend and she holds a special place in his heart. He describes her in quite a bit of depth and he clearly seems to have feelings for her, his attitude is one of tenderness towards her. As quoted he “knows her like a book”.
He shared quite a bit of his own personal life with her and she was the only person that he showed his late brothers beloved baseball mitt to, this speaks volumes of how much he trusted Jane, especially as he comes across as a very doubting person. He remembers a lot about Jane and her little quirks and doesn’t describe her as strictly beautiful but knocked Holder out! Holder gets very angry that Seedeater is taking Jane out on a date, as he sees Seedeater as a very sexual person, with only sex on his mind.
He is annoyed that Seedeater firstly gets Cane’s name wrong and calls her “Jean” and that he seems to have absolutely no concern in what interests her. This to me implies a protectiveness of Holder towards Jane. He however seems to lack the confidence to go downstairs and greet her but keeps asking Seedeater about her. Holder gets very angry at the thought of Seedeater and Jane having sex and this drives him to insult Seedeater, eventually ending up with a bloody nose because of his anger.
This to me either suggests that Holder can’t think of Jane actually having a sexual relationship because he sees her as innocent or he is jealous and resentful that it is not him having a sexual relationship with Jane because of his lack of self-confidence. Sally Hayes Sally is a very good looking girl that Holder has previously dated “quite frequently”. He did a lot of “necking’ with her which makes me think that he Hough of her as more of a sexual object than he did Jane. Holder thinks of Sally in a more mature and adult way, compared to how he thinks Of Jane, whom he sees as more innocent.
He says that Sally is a girl who “seems intelligent and sophisticated, but is actually stupid” This is a very arrogant attitude of Holder towards women. Why does he say that she is stupid? This is very presumptuous of Holder. Holder doesn’t seem to be able to be sincere with Sally, as much as he is with Jane and he seems to go through the motions instead of actually feeling emotions with her. Holder catapults between total naivety to such wisdom, it is sometimes hard to keep up with him, and can only imagine how difficult poor Sally must have found it!
He wants to run away with her, at a mere sixteen years old and childishly thinks that this would work, it is Sally who maturely points out how silly and absurd that idea would be. Holder really is a contradiction, especially when it comes to girls. Sunny When Holder is approached about the prospect of hiring a prostitute for the night, he thinks that it is “against his principles” but he is so depressed and Anton think, so agrees to it but immediately regrets his decision. It is in this part of the book that Holder admits that he is still a virgin, even though he often implies that he is very experienced and confident.
He really wants to have sex with Sunny so that he can get “some practice on her, in case ever get married or anything’ Holder however ended up just talking to her as he felt so awkward and embarrassed. Honestly believe that he has more integrity and morals than he leads the reader to believe, for instance, he feels sorry for Sunny, you can tell this by the way that he refers to her and how he often says how sad he feels. Phoebe Coalfield Phoebe is Holder’s sister, she is ten years old and he really holds her in high esteem, unusual for siblings.
Perhaps it is because his brother Allele died so young that he holds on to Phoebe more tightly. She represents innocence to him that all the other girls in his life, barring Jane, don’t have, according to Holder. Phoebe is very intelligent and mature beyond her years and she sees right through her brother, this represents a real wisdom and intuitiveness from her. I think that Holder holds her in such high regard because she is robbery the only girl, besides Jane, that he can trust and be himself with, and be loved in spite of this.
He feels safe with Phoebe……. Conclusion In conclusion, Holder Coalfield’s attitude to girls is just like that of your normal teenage boy: one of mixed emotions and bewilderment. Perhaps what sets him apart is the death of his younger brother, whom was taken way too young. This kind of tragedy matures a young man, makes him see the world in a totally different way and his contradiction nature and attitude to girls is as a result of this…….. Bibliography The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Singers