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In Chapter 11 of "The Catcher in the Rye, why does Jane start crying? What does...

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badminton | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 23, 2008 at 2:59 AM via web

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In Chapter 11 of "The Catcher in the Rye, why does Jane start crying? What does Holden do about it?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 23, 2008 at 3:24 AM (Answer #1)

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Jane was upset because her stepfather was abusing her. Holden's reaction was to sit next to her and put his arm around her. But instead of just comforting her, he begins to kiss her all over her face. He confuses lust with sympathy. This could have been one of Holden's first chances at real, not just sexual, intimacy, but Holden is obviously not ready for this. Ironically, he sees the same kind of approach when he witnesses a Yale-looking guy telling a girl about a suicide of a friend while trying to grope her under the table. He's appalled by the guy's behavior but doesn't seem to connect it to his own.

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